Joplin native Betty Rutherford will celebrate her 109th birthday Friday, according to the Springdale Ark. Morning News:
One of her earliest memories is standing at the foot of the Ferris wheel at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair with her parents while her brother went around. It had 36 wooden cars -- each holding 60 people, carrying them some 250 feet in the air.
She had a family friend who was on the Titanic when it sank in 1912. She also recalls listening to the Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney heavyweight boxing fight in 1927 and she remembers the Great Flood of that year, the most destructive river flood in U.S. history.
Mrs. Rutherford's father was Thornton Bassett Jenkins, president of the First National Bank of Joplin, according to an article that ran in the Batesville Daily Guard.
(Photo: Betty Rutherford with her great-grandchildren)