The chance to live forever is something that many people hope for but few ever actually want.
Posted on 8/22/15
By Melissa Anderson
The chance to live until 100 may seem like a more achievable goal but beyond that not likely. For one resident of Cavalier County, reaching beyond that 100 year old is a milestone to be surpassed.
Anna Schill Hoffarth has lived in Cavalier County for all of her 107 years. Born on August 17, 1908 in Dresden Township, Hoffarth grew up during some of the toughest economic times and history shaping events. World War I or the “Great War” as it was called during Hoffarth’s childhood began in 1914 when Hoffarth was only 6 and lasted until she was 10.
Growing up in the “Roaring 1920s”, Hoffarth was married on June 2, 1931 at the age of 23. The Hoffarths began their life at the onset of the Great Depression which would last until the start of World War II in 1939 and end in 1945.
Through that, the one thing that her children said their mother could do was make something out of nothing.
“She could cook up a meal with hardly anything in the kitchen,” Les Hoffarth, Anna’s son said.
One anecdote that Hoffarth shared about his mother was a memory that she had told him about her childhood.
“Her dad asked her to make chocolate chip cookies when she was a little girl, and grandma said, ‘you know we got nothing here to make chocolate chip cookies’ to which her dad responded ‘Annie could make chocolate chip cookies if there was only parsnips in the basement’,” Les Hoffarth said.
At a time when many did without or just got by, the Hoffarth children recalled always having food.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of money but we always had food,” Les Hoffarth said.
“She always had food for us and a dessert,” Leona Platz, Anna’s daughter, added.
The Hoffarths lived in Mt. Carmel Township for over 30 years and raised six children, three of whom are still living. The family had a farm and a large garden which Hoffarth credits her longevity too.
“Eating on time and eating good food,” Hoffarth said.
Hoffarth’s son and daughter, recalled their mother having a very large garden and every fall canning the produce for the winter having over 1,000 quarts of canned produce every fall.
For Hoffarth, the biggest change over the years has been the technology aspect. From horse and buggy to the sports cars of today and the old wall phones to the cell phones, the changes that Hoffarth has born witness to have been nothing short of science fiction turned into reality.
One aspect of enjoying life that crosses time is doing what you love, which for Hoffarth was dancing and being active in the community.
“She would sooner dance than eat,” Les Hoffarth recalls his mother saying often.
“She worked at the cook car (threshing gatherings food wagons) and went to take care of a lot of mothers having children,” Leona Platz shared about her mother.
At the passing of her husband in 1966, Hoffarth moved from the farm to live in the city of Langdon where she resided in her own home until she was 99 years old and then moved to her current residence of Maple Manor Care Center.
Hoffarth is now the oldest resident at Maple Manor Care Center and has surpassed the oldest resident to ever stay at Maple Manor, a record previously held by a 105 years young resident.
Happy 107th Birthday, Anna!