Title: Centenarian
Birthdate: December 26, 1860
Death Date: June 30, 1962
Plot Location: Section 122, Lot 53, two from north line

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Many children are given the same middle name as their mother’s maiden name. That’s significant in this case because the settlement where this family lived was originally known as Hall’s Store, in the far southeast corner of Delaware. When a building was constructed with a second floor they realized they could see the ocean, so the village officially became known as Ocean View in 1889.

Selby Evans married Elizabeth Hall and had three boys and three girls. The parents and children were members of Ocean View Presbyterian Church and every one of them were laid to rest in the church cemetery… all except Annie, and this is the story of how she eventually was buried at  Mount Moriah.

The girls became dressmakers, the boys helped farm the land, and the youngest son took over after his father died. Today, Ocean View has been transformed into a bedroom community for the neighboring summer resort of Bethany Beach. 

All of the Evans children married before Annie. She was almost 32 when she wed Cornelius Waples from Stockley, Delaware, about 15 miles to the northwest. Her new husband was seven years older, a widower, and father of a 10-year-old girl named Margaret. On their marriage certificate he listed his occupation as a lumber merchant.

Although he was from a farm family, Cornelius also held various jobs as “general laborer.” Sometime in the mid 1870s he ventured to Philadelphia, worked at a meat packing plant and became a foreman. He met and married a Philly girl named Elizabeth and moved back to Delaware in 1881 where Margaret was born. They returned to Philly in 1884. Then Elizabeth died while giving birth in 1886. The baby, also named Elizabeth, died a few hours later. Both were buried at Mount Moriah, and Cornelius came back to southeastern Delaware.

After his marriage to Annie the couple moved to Philadelphia where their son, Robert, was born in 1894 and their daughter, Elizabeth, in 1899. That same year they moved back to Delaware, but in 1906 Cornelius died of tuberculous meningitis. Annie had him interred at Mount Moriah in the plot he had previously purchased.

Margaret married in 1905 and raised her family in the Philly suburb of Prospect Park. Annie raised Robert and Elizabeth by herself as a dressmaker in Ocean View. She was a wife for only 13 years and never remarried.

Sometime prior to World War I the family moved back to Philadelphia. Robert’s 1917 draft card indicates they lived in the Olney-Oak Lane section where he worked for Garlock Packing Company. After briefly serving during the war, he married and rose through the ranks at Garlock. Soon he was promoted to the firm’s headquarters in Palmyra, New York, near Rochester.

Annie remained in Philly, supported by her still-single daughter, Elizabeth. After about 20 years at the same address, Elizabeth died in 1934 following an abdominal operation. She became the third Elizabeth to be buried in the Waples plot. 

Annie then sold her home and bought another one in Palmyra to be near Robert’s family. By 1950 Robert had become vice president of what became Garlock Sealing Technologies. The company continues today to manufacture hydraulic, mechanical, pneumatic and oil seals used in many industries as well as gaskets and other rubber products. He eventually led the firm as president and chairman.

There were three Waples children for whom Annie was grandmother, who then gave her six great-grandchildren. She may not have maintained contact with Margaret and her four children since they weren’t mentioned in her obituary. Annie lived independently  in her own home until she was almost 98 years old, when she went to a local nursing home.

On the day after Christmas in 1961 she celebrated her 101st birthday, and breathed her last breath on the last day of June, 1962. After a memorial service in Palmyra she was buried here with her husband and daughter.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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