2017-08-09 / Front Page

Mr. Wilson turns 100

by Colin McLaughlin


Benton Wilson arrives to his 100th birthday party on a tractor that he made himself in the 1930's. He made it out of old car parts and used to drive down with his wife to the pond to fish. Benton Wilson arrives to his 100th birthday party on a tractor that he made himself in the 1930's. He made it out of old car parts and used to drive down with his wife to the pond to fish. Family and friends of Benton Wilson celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday, August 5 at Mount Olivet Methodist Church in southern Morgan County. Wilson was born on August 4, 1917 and has lived in Berkeley Springs all of his life. Wilson is the eldest of six children, four boys and two girls.

He arrived to his party by riding in on his tractor that he made in the 1930s. The tractor was made up of a 1932 Chevy engine and frame, a 1928 Ford radiator, Model T parts and Model A parts.

At the party, each table had a vase with a sunflower. The reason behind the decoration was that Wilson is a farmer and still gets up every morning to take care of his chickens.

Family and friends also told stories of Wilson’s escapades. One of the stories told about when Wilson was a teenager and helped his dad blow up the foundation of the church. He said that he remembers having a headache from the dynamite the entire night.


Wilson and a co-worker from the sand mine catch up and tell stories Wilson and a co-worker from the sand mine catch up and tell stories When asked what his favorite thing to was when he was a kid, Wilson said, "My favorite thing to do was get out of doing work."

Throughout his life, Wilson has worked at a variety of places — at the old gas station where Roy's is now, in a tomato factory and at the sand mine when it was Pennsylvania Glass Sand, not U.S. Silica. When he was not working he was fishing.

Wilson’s daughter told a story about her playing outside with her BB gun. He saw her out there and gave her a .22 rifle to use instead. Once she finally got used to it, she started shooting squirrels every morning for breakfast, she said.

Wilson’s birthday cake was decorated with a dirt road, a tractor, a garden and a pond, all of his favorite things.

When asked how it felt to be 100, he said, "I don't feel much of a difference, I just look rougher."

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