Sarah Jane AuBuchon



Mrs. Sarah Aubuchon 101 Years Young
[Published December 31, 1963]

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Today marks the 101st birthday of an area woman whose life has spanned the era from the ox cart to the jet airplane.

Mrs. Sarah Aubuchon [a/k/a Sally Aubuchon],  living on the 80-acre farm on Bonne Terre Route 1 which she has called home for the past 95 years, is bedfast but mentally alert. She was born in Irondale, near midnight Dec 31, 1862.

She moved to her present home, six miles north of Farmington, when she was 5 years old.

Besides marking her birthdays New Years Eve played at least one other significant role in her life. On that day in 1885, she married Basil J. Aubuchon, who died in 1926.

Mrs. Aubuchon is fond of pointing out that her first travels were in an ox cart and the last major journey was by jet airliner. When she was 93yrs old, she flew from St. Louis to Detroit MI and Pittsburgh PA, then back to St. Louis on a trip to visit relatives.

"It was a major event in her life," a daughter said. "She even planned to fly to Ireland, but finally decided against that."

The elderly widow is the descendant of a pioneer family of St. Francois County. Her ancestors, the Murphys, came to the Farmington area from Virginia in the early 1800's. Mrs. Aubuchon's maiden name was Cunningham and her father came to America from Ireland as a boy. She still has cousins living there.

The key to her longevity, her daughters suggested, may be a family noted for its long life and her moderate eating habits. Her grandmother, Mrs. Cynthia Murphy, lived to be 98, a daughter said, and Mrs. Aubuchon's great-grandmother died in her 90's.

Mrs. Aubuchon has been confined to her bed most of the last year, her daughters said. She suffered from pneumonia this fall and has been in poor health in recent months.

Up until after her one hundredth birthday, Mrs. Aubuchon's faculties were excellent and she spent much of her time reading. In the last year her eyesight has failed, her daughters said, but her mind is still alert.

Mrs. Aubuchon is five feet, seven inches tall and never weighed over 150 pounds, according to her daughters. She now weighs about 100 pounds.

Because of her poor health, no birthday party was planned for the aged widow this year. A party on her one hundredth birthday drew a large group of friends, neighbors and relatives, among them two old friends in their 90's.

Mrs. Aubuchon lives on the family farm with three of her four daughters. They are Miss Genevieve Aubuchon, Mrs. Philomena McKeon and Mrs. Emilie Smith. Her fourth daughter is Mrs. Elizabeth Barton of Wyandotte MI. Two of her four sons are living. They are John Aubuchon of Sebastopol, CA and Eugene Aubuchon of Ellwood City, PA.


Mrs. Sarah Jane AuBuchon, oldest known citizen of St. Francois County, passed away March 7, 1964, at the age of 101 years, 2 months and 6 days. She died at the farm home where she had lived for the past 95 years, six miles north of Farmington on Bonne Terre, Route One.

Born December 31, 1862, near Irondale, Mo., she was a daughter of the late Arthur and Emilie (Rentfro) Cunningham. On December 31, 1895, she was married to Basil J. AuBuchon, who passed away in 1926. Eight children were born to this union, with two preceding their mother in death [Arthur and Herbert]. The surviving children are: John Edward AuBuchon, Sebastopol, Calif.; Philomena McKeon and Emilie Smith, of the AuBuchon home; Eugene AuBuchon, Elwood City, Pa.; Genevieve AuBuchon, at home; Elizabeth Barton, Wyandotte, Mich. Eleven grandchildren, several great and great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and a host of friends also remain to mourn her passing.

The body lay in state at the Boyer Funeral Home in Desloge where the Rosary was recited Monday, March 9, at 7 p.m. Funeral rites conducted by the Rev. Charl Torrence were at the Immaculate Conception Church, Flat River, on Tuesday morning, March 10, at 9 o'clock. Interment was in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Bonne Terre, under the direction of C. Z. Boyer & Son, Desloge.

When interviewed on the occasion of her 101st birthday, the aged woman was frail but mentally alert. It was noted at that time that during her lifetime Mrs. AuBuchon had used modes of transportation ranging from the ox cart to jet airliner.
[The Lead Belt News, March 11, 1964]

This page is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Sarah Jane (Cunningham) AuBuchon by Jennifer (Barton) Van Meter, her proud great-granddaughter.