yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee
People of Action - 1969

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).  Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of the late Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.

Vada Warden

By Lillye Younger, Sun Correspondent

'Aunt Vade' Is 'Ready' For Moon Trip

PARSONS. Tenn. — "I have lived in Parsons longer than any other resident, yet I am only 79 years old," says Mrs. Vada Warden, affectionately known as "Aunt Vade."

"There are residents in Parsons older than me, but they moved here later," she adds.

Mrs. Warden, is an active member and church worker, is always ready to go.

"When they start tours to the moon, I would like to be of the passengers.

"I think it is a wonderful age, scientists have gone a long way since 1886." she says.

Mrs. Warden fits in well with all circles, young, middle-aged, and elderly. Her physical health is perfect and she never complains. She retires around midnight and does not get up early in the morning.

Her philosophy of life is simple.

"I try to be kind and good and love everybody."

Mrs. Warden reminisced about early days in Parsons.

""I was born Feb. 28, 1885 at Bible Hill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Will Arnold, and the oldest of six children. I attended the first school in Parsons, a one-room frame building at the corner of Tennessee Avenue and Fifth Street, where Glennie Colwick's home now stands.

"My first teacher was W. H. Long. We had no running water at the school, but used a bucket and dipper and carried water from a neighbors well.

"Everyone drank out of the same dipper as it was passed around. Germs didn't play a very important part in those days," Mrs. Warden opined.

"Our subjects were reading, writing, spelling and grammar. I enjoyed spelling because every Friday we had a spelling match. I try to stress the importance of becoming a good speller to the school children of today.

"We girls wore black cotton stockings, lace or- button high top shoes and dresses down to our ankles," she says.

Discipline in the early school days was of the non-nonsense variety. "Our teacher punished us by thumping us on the head," says Mrs. Warden.

Mrs. Warden was married to John T. Warden in 1901. They had four boys and two girls. Two living children are Mrs. J. E. Pickins of Memphis and Tom Warden of Parsons. Mr. Warden died in 1957, but she maintained her home at 409 Tennessee Ave. S.

Recreation in the old days was not quite the same as today.

"We used to ride the train to Perryville, cross the Tennessee River by ferry and ride in a wagon to a square dance. We would dance all night and ride back home the next day," she remembers.

Mrs. Wardens recreational activities are still vigorous. She plays bridge with all the clubs in town. Although she belongs to only one bridge club, she plays three or- four times a week.

"I belong to every club in town and attend them regularly.

"I joined the Methodist Church in 1902 at Parsons and have been an active member for 63 years. I can remember the first Methodist Church built in Parsons. It was constructed in 1894.

"I have filled many offices in the church and am now an honorary member of the official board," she says.

Mrs. Warden is known affectionately as "Aunt Vade" by her many friends in the town that has been her home for so many active and interesting years.

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