Honoring 105 Years: Josephine Daniels presented Key to City

Demopolis Mayor John Laney presents Josephine H. Daniels with a key to the city upon her 105th birthday on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Demopolis Mayor John Laney presents Josephine H. Daniels with a key to the city upon her 105th birthday on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Josephine H. Daniels is not your average Demopolis resident. Daniels has seen a lot of changes in her time living in the area, which is to be expected when a person has lived 105 years.

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Demopolis Mayor John Laney visited Daniels at her home to present her with a Key to the City in honor of her milestone birthday.

This is a very special event. For someone to be 105-years-old, it’s thrilling to be part of something like that,” Laney said.

Daniels, a longtime resident of the area, said she was delighted to receive the honor.

“I feel fine, super fine,” said Daniels. “I’m going to hang this (key) up in the house.”

Josephine spoke about how she lived in the area before roads were paved, the mailman came to houses, and residents had to draw water from wells.

“There’s been a lot of changes,” she said.

Traveling around the city is one of the adjustments over the past century.

“You used to have to watch out for horse and buggies when crossing the street,” Daniels said. “There were no sidewalks so you had to do what you had to do to walk down the road.”

She also said that since there were no street lights at the time, residents would have to walk around with lanterns at night to have any chance of seeing where they were going.

During her professional life, Daniels was a teacher and taught in Demopolis, as well as Sumter, Hale and Greene counties and in Mississippi. She retired after teaching in Sumter County in 1982.

When Josephine received her teaching certificate, teachers were allowed to teach every grade and every subject. She said her teaching style didn’t allow for students to get out of hand.

“If they didn’t want to mind anybody and come around acting a fool, I’d cool them,” she said.

Living life for 105 years does have its challenges, but Josephine said she’s had a blessed life.

“I feel good. The good Lord has blessed me to be able to go this far,” said Daniels. “I’ve had some ups and downs in my life, but I feel alright.”

Living with her daughter, Bernice Daniels, Josephine lives in a loving environment and continues her days with youthful cheer and humor.

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