Mary Robert Haupt


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Farmington Woman Sees Three Centuries
Daily Journal, Park Hills, St. Francois County, Misosuri,
Monday, October 8, 2001

Jeffery Barnes plans to bring his children to see their great-grandmother today. He wants them to know the woman he calls a "great lady, a great listener and someone you could always count on."

And she has been for a very long time. Monday, Mary Roberta Haupt celebrates her 104th birthday.

"She was born on Oct. 8 in 1897," Barnes said. "And isn't that amazing? She's seen three centuries."

Amazing indeed.

While Mrs. Haupt isn't much of a talker anymore, she did say the one thing she might like for her birthday would be a new dress, preferably in red, her favorite color.

Barnes tells the story of his grandmother's long life.

"She was born in Farmington," he said. "But she lived a long time in St. Louis. She married my grandfather, Edward Haupt in 1920 and he ran Haupt's Grocery in St. Louis. He died in 1963 and she came to live with us for awhile."

Barnes recalls how his grandmother would stay up with him until 2 o'clock in the morning just to tell him the stories of her life or listen to his. Then, he says, she'd be up at 7 a.m. to cook breakfast.

"She was a great cook and baker," he said. "We had wonderful holiday meals. I guess I remember that so well because my mother wasn't much of a cook.' Mrs. Haupt has been blessed with good health most of her life. Barnes said she still takes no medication. She lived on her own until 1991. That's when her grandson says an infection on her foot prompted doctors to amputate her right leg.

"She was about 93 or 94 when that happened and had to move into the nursing home," he said.

She lives now at Camelot Nursing Center where there are plans for a party Monday.

Her great-uncle was Henry Shaw of Shaw's Garden in St. Louis. But otherwise, Barnes doesn't believe his grandmother has any special claims to fame.

"She was a stay-at-home mom all her life, I think," he said. "And she has always been a very caring person."

A gifted seamstress, Barnes still has many of the quilts his grandmother stitched by hand.

"And she made a set of pillows for me out of my old corduroy pants," he said. "That was her biggest hobby. Those pillows are long gone now, but I remember them well."

She moved back to Farmington in 1975 to be near her brothers. Frank Ballard was one of them. She's out-lived two husbands and both of her children.

"I can't say there's anything I inherited from her, except perhaps my love of gardening," Barnes said. "But I hope maybe I've inherited her longevity."

Written by D. Hickman, Daily Journal Staff Writer.