Mattie Rogers looks back on 105 years of living

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 6, 2002

Mattie Rogers is light-footed and moves easily around her apartment. She gardens at the Epworth House, cooks and takes care of herself. She talks easily and looks at you with a firm gaze with a sparkle in her eye.

It’s hard to tell that she’s lived over a century.

On Wednesday, Rogers celebrated her birthday, which she says is her 105th, despite a framed certificate from the state senate that places her birth in 1908.

But, Rogers was born during a time that birth records were difficult to keep.

She was born and raised in Thomaston, over in Marengo County. It is where her brother, her only surviving relative, passed away recently at the relatively young age of 98. Her parents died before she was 12, and when she was older she went to work at the Bradford Hotel in Pine Hill.

Rogers cleaned and served dinners and casseroles to the customers. Later, she moved to the kitchen where she honed her cooking skills.

She went on to take care of two families, working as a nanny. The children she took care of from one of the families visit her regularly.

Although Rogers never married, her apartment is filled with pictures of friends and relatives – people she has taken under her wing.

Rogers was one of the first residents to move into Epworth House around 12-13 years ago. She is well-regarded among the staff and fellow residents, from the man at the front desk who proudly proclaimed that Mattie was going to get her picture in the paper, to neighbors who advised to knock on the door a little louder so Rogers that hear it.

Rogers is the godmother of Tyler’s great-granddaughter, Hannah. The women waited together at the hospital for the child to be born, praying when doctors said they lost the baby’s heartbeat and celebrating when Hannah was delivered safely.

Rogers has also traveled in her later years, going up to Virgina more than a decade ago and has also visited Washington, D.C.