Clark Millikan’s 100th Birthday Party

The “oldest man in Hamilton County” celebrated his 100th birthday at his home on April 12, 1924. Below is the leaflet given to guests at the celebration. Pretty handsome old guy!

The poem on the back of the card gives a synopsis of his life.

There was an article in the Sheridan News April 18, 1924 that gave details of the celebration. It indicated that there was a dinner for 60 relatives. Some relatives came from North Carolina, Montana and Illinois. There were also 400 people who stopped by to celebrate with “Uncle Clark.” He reportedly shook hands with all of those visitors.

There was “an enormous three-tier birthday cake containing 45 eggs & 15 cups of sugar” made by his daughter, Alice Cox and granddaughter, Carrie Cox Bell. The cake had 100 candles. It didn’t say if he blew all of those out in one breath!

There were flowers and gifts given to Clark. He received “90 letters of congratulations” during the week. One of the largest flower arrangements was of 3 dozen carnations from the Indiana Condensed Milk Company of Sheridan. Clark indicated he appreciated the flowers while alive, something he couldn’t do when dead.

Also a part of the celebration was a “room of relics” from the Millikan family. These included many hand-woven items. A quilt was made from scraps woven by both of Clark’s wives and quilted with home-spun thread. A hammer that was 150 years old was on display. There were also items of clothing, including 3 vests “made of hand-woven cloth and hand stitched.” The black satin vest worn by Clark on his wedding day in 1855, when he married Lydia Hinshaw, was also displayed. This vest is still in the possession of a family member. I saw it a few years ago & it was in pretty good condition. I was surprised at how small it seemed.

One other thing that happened on this special day was that Clark listened to the radio for the first time in his life. Hard to imagine!

The News article stated that “this celebration will probably never be paralleled in this locality.” I wonder if it ever was? And “Uncle Clark survived the day with splendid endurance.” I bet he slept for a few days after! And “several kodak pictures were taken.” Here is one of them:


This is Clark in front of his house with the cake and several of the flower arrangements. I expect the large arrangement in front is the one from the Indiana Condensed Milk Co. Looks like he was having a good time!

© MJM 2016


One thought on “Clark Millikan’s 100th Birthday Party

  1. Really enjoyed all this info about his birthday celebration. Particularly liked the poem in the leaflet. I can just picture all the visitors and the excitement of the day.


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