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Centralia’s Bagley turns 100

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 1:07 pm

Warren G. Harding was president, Pope Pius XI led the Catholic church and Bees’ Knees by Ted Lewis and His Band was the number one song on the radio the day Centralia’s latest centenarian Mary Bagley was born, Wednesday, February 14, 1923.

She met her husband-to-be JW Bagley, 16 years later when her mother , Mary Martin,was walking her down a north Centralia street to a birthday party to which they had both been invited.

Centralia’s Mary Bagley, shown here as she begins an afternoon nap, turned 100 on Valentine’s Day, pictured behind her are five generations of her family

“Things were a lot different, a lot harder, a lot more restricted for women back then,” her son and caregiver Don Bagley told the Fireside Guard. “They were practically neighbors, but had never spoken. Dad slipped her a note later asking if she would go out with him, that’s how it all started.”

Mary was born in Centralia, Don said, but spent most her first decade in an orphanage in Carrollton, MO.

“My grandfather was a horse rider, that is what he did for a living and they had not been married long when, he died in a horse-riding accident.”

He said his grandmother had a tough time.

“it was a desperate time for my grandmother, she had no means of support,” he said. “She married a man from down the road in Mexico who was 80 years old… Together they had a child,,,

For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard