Ulysses G. Umstot 98th Birthday
The following is transcribed from a Cumberland Times News article on my great-grandfather.
Though the title read 98th Birthday, it was actually his 97th!
Colorful Short Gap Man Will Observe
His 98th Birthday on Valentine's Day
Ulysses G. Umstot, who has lived within a radius of three miles of Short Gap, W.Va. during the past 98 years, will mark that birthday anniversary tomorrow, Valentine's Day, at the home of a daughter with whom he resides. When he was 19 years old he decided to go west and seek his fortune and got as far as Plainview, located near Chicago. His plans were to settle down as a farmer in the Midwest. However his stay endured about two months. He became homesick when a woman who stayed at the home where he resided kept singing one of her favorite songs, "I Wonder If They Ever Pray For Me At Home." He packed up his belongings and headed East to his home. Better known as "Gil" in the Short Gap area, Mr. Umstot got his greatest joy through the years in helping others by doing favors for them. He is a native of Short Gap, where he has lived his entire life. His occupation in past years was that of a farmer and peach orchardist. Mr. Umstot has enjoyed good health during his lifetime. His desire to live was proven about 15 years ago when he was severely burned and lay in a hospital bed for about 98 days. One day while out in his peach orchard clearing brush and burning it, the woods caught fire trapping Mr. Umstot. His overalls, first were ignited and he was severely burned aoubt his legs. A local doctor performed plastic surgery on the elderly man and he pulled through. Within the past couple of weeks, Mr. Umstot met with an accident at home and fell, breaking a couple of ribs on his left side. Not content with being hospitalized, he made up his mind to go home to let his injuries heel. the other day he was in the back yard getting some wood off the wood pile. As a youngster he went to school at George's Run and eventually began farming and raising peaches. One of his favorite sports as a young man was a popular pastime of the Short Gap area - horseback tournaments. Competitors from Frankfort and Headsville rode in the tournaments. To this day with the arrival of spring each year, Mr. Umstot says he has a yen to get back in the saddle as in days gone by. A staunch Democrat, Mr. Umstot spent an hour participating in debates on almost any subject in Mineral and Hampshire counties. For quite a few years now his responsibility has been crowning the queen of the homecoming at Short Gap held each year. He belonged to the Woodmen of the World and is an honorary member of the Short Gap Volunteer Fire Company. He is a member of the Methodist Church and still manages to get to service on Sunday. He enjoys television at home and has a number of favorite programs including westerns. He was married twice and his second wife, Mrs. Susan (Skelly) Umstot, of Cresaptown, was buried seven years ago on Valentine's Day. Mr. Umstot is the father of 11 children, six of whom are still living. He also has 17 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. He may not know it now, but tomorrow he is going to be in home movies which a neighbor has promised to take. Mr. Umstot will be surrounded by his family and friends during the "open house" at the home of his daughter, Myra E. Umstot.
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