Etc. -- Vermina (Helmer) Fitch is 110
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A lightly edited transcription of a page 1 article in the 10 Sep 1925 issue of the Waterford Star newspaper.


In the industrial home of the county of Norfolk, Ontario, there lives a pioneer Canadian woman who is forced to reside in an institution because her daughter is too aged and infirm to care for her. The daughter, who lives in the state of Michigan, has now passed her 84th birthday.

The mother, according to relatives whose veracity seems beyond question, is in her 110th year.

Her name is Mrs. Nathan Fitch, and well over three-quarters of a century ago she was Miss Vermina Helmer. She was born in a little village at the mouth of the Niagara river one year after the close of the war of 1812.

She was christened in the first Anglican church erected in the Niagara district, attended it regularly as a young girl and was married there. 

After her marriage she moved to her husband's home in Courtland, Norfolk county, where she resided until five years ago, when she was brought to the county home at Simcoe. 

Mr. Fitch died approximately 25 years ago, having attained at the time of his death the ripe olf ages of 82 years.

It was be impossible to divine that Mrs. Fitch is 110 years old. She retains her vitality to a remarkable degree, and is able to move about the home without assistance of any sort.

She is still in possession of most of her faculties and delights in recalling the time when the redskins roamed at will through the dense forests of the Niagara district, only too frequently carrying terror into the hearts of the pioneer settlers by their spasmodic raids on outlying farms.

She can remember animated conversation of her parents about the bloody days of 1812-1814. One incident is firmly fixed in her memory and about this she often speaks. It was a plague  that swept the Indian tribes in this part of Ontario early in the nineteenth century. Her father and his neighbors were paid by the government $5 per head for every Indian they buried. The task occupied their sole attention for several months, and it was estimated that 3,000 Indians succumbed to the ravages of the disease in that space of time.

Mrs. Fitch is undoubtedly the oldest lady in this part of Ontario, perhaps in the entire dominion. Recently an aged gentleman, to all appearances beyond the threescore and ten mark, called at the home to visit Mrs. Fitch. He was her grandson.

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