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Tildy Webb, thought to be Cocke County's oldest citizen, dies at 104

Published: 9:33 AM, 03/19/2013

Author: Duay O'Neil
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

COSBY-Matilda 'Tildy' Webb, whose life spanned the Presidential administrations of William Howard Taft to Barrack Obama, died shortly after noon on Sunday, March 17, 2013, two days after her 104th birthday.

She was born March 15, 1909, in a log house in Trail Hollow, a community in Upper Cosby settled a century earlier by her ancestors. She was the middle of nine children born to William Joel and Ida (Gilliland) Jenkins.

When she was a child, the family moved to Bluffton, a community alongside the Pigeon River, where her father ran a water mill with a race and sawed lumber.

She entered school at McMillan and shortly thereafter, when the family moved, transferred to Bluffton, a tradition one-room frame building. Her teachers included Miss Bernice Brooks, who also lived past her 100th birthday.

Her mother's death when Webb was 12 brought her formal education to an end, because of her father's need for her help caring for her younger siblings.

Over 50 years later, Webb returned to the classroom as a student in one of Cocke County's early adult education classes and earned her GED. Her fellow graduates included a granddaughter. Webb's teacher, impressed by her learning ability, urged the senior-citizen graduate to enter college.

For more details, please see the Tuesday edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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