ago, I came across a story about an ex-slave in an old Gonzales
Inquirer newspaper from 1959. This article was about a woman named
It was reported that Mrs. Stone was a very religious woman; a characteristic
that seems to have been very prevalent among slaves.
When the following article was published, Ada Stone was 109 years
The following article is printed just as it appeared in April of 1959.
Inquirer April 30, 1959
former slave, one hundred and nine year old Ada Stone of near Gonzales
doesn't consider her age a handicap.
109-Year-Old Ex-Slave Recalls Days Long Past.
Slyly she will tell you, "I'm over a hundred years old."
Her mother lived to be 113, according to Mrs. Stone's 83-year-old
daughter, Mrs. Sarah Bateman.
"But I can eat anything and I like good things to eat," said Ada.
"I don't just 'like' sweet potatoes, I love them." Ada's daughter
Sarah, with whom she makes her home, says fresh pork and sweet potatoes
are Ada's favorite diet.
Even though the 109-year-old woman spends most of her days in a wheelchair
now she still has ideas of what it means to be active. "She wanted
to make soap this morning," the daughter said. "It took a while to
convince her she couldn't do it."
Ada likes to let her mind wander back to her early years. Her father,
as a slave, was sold before the 109-year-old woman was born. She never
"I was John Mooney's slave, down on Peach Creek," she said. "He had
lots of slaves, and we all worked hard but he was good to us."
Ada can still remember seeing slaves chained together as they were
put on an auction block to be sold. She also remembers carrying dinner
out to them in the fields. She tells of how they would sit down right
out in the field in the sun and eat.
Devoted to her mistress from slavery days, Ada still talks about it.
"She used to come down from San
Antonio to see me after the war was over," explained the 109 year
old woman. "She was good to me."
Ada is proud of the fact that she owns her own home which she and
her husband bought many years ago.
"My white people didn't give it to me, I worked hard and earned it,"
she said. "And I think I enjoy it better because I did work hard for
Her daughter Sarah recalls how when she was a small child her mother
would take her out into the fields to work. She also worked in private
homes. Eventually Ada and her husband accumulated the money to buy
A devoutly religious woman, Ada has some of the walls of her home
covered with religious pictures and quotations.
"You have to run from the devil all the time," she will tell you.
28, 2012 column