Urbana Daily Citizen & Gazette
Urbana, Ohio
Tuesday, March 31, 1881


Somewhat of a "bubble" was occasioned last Friday by the death of James Gales, otherwise know as "old man Gales" at the residence of a daughter who resides southeast of the city. speculation as to the age of the deceased was at once entered into, different persons variously estimated the death of the old colored patriarch at from 115 to 130 years.

There does not appear to be a shadow of doubt as to his having been the oldest man in the state at the time of his death, and this,we believe, our reader and contemporaries will readily agree when we mention the fact that E. R. Holmes, census enumerator for Union Township, while taking the Census last spring resurrected papers positively showing Old Man Gales age to be 125 years.

In partial substantiation of this we deem worthy of mention of the fact that there are in this section gentlemen who have reached their three score and ten years that remember James Gales as "old man" Glaes in the days of their youth.

This remarkable old man was able to walk a mile or two without great effort up to the time of the illness of which he died, ans as late as last fall walked two miles to cast his vote for General Garfield for President.

He claimed to have been a servant of George Washington after the Revolution, and during that illustrious gentlemen's service as President of the United States, and this with his boasted aquaintance with Layfette, were distinctions he proudly and eloquently dealt upon.

James gales was three times married, he being joined by his last wife over thirty years ago by Judge Vance, who was then Justice of the peace, under a tree on the roadside. Glaes was then a very old man and the claim that he was the oldest man in the State at the time of his death we feel confidant can no be successfully contradicted.

Note: Mr. James Gales is buried in Oak Dake Cemetery, Urbana, Ohio. also in this article he was never referred to as Mr. Gales - A.T.

Submitted 22 Apr 2000 by Arthur L. Thomas


Copyright 1999-2000 by AfriGeneas