#ThrowbackThursday — Father, daughter live through 36 presidents

Published 10:10 am Thursday, June 27, 2019

Joshua Hudson was born in 1796 in the Aquadale area and lived most of his life outside of Norwood.

Late in his life, during the 1890s, several articles appeared in area newspapers to celebrate some of his birthdays.

These articles all pointed out that during his lifetime, Hudson had never tasted a drop of medicine, never tasted a drop of intoxicating liquor, never saw a sewing machine, never saw a cook stove, never saw a railroad, never purchased a bushel of grain, never attended court as a witness or otherwise and had never been further from home than Monroe (about 50 miles).

Hudson had been married three times and had raised 23 children. Those children, plus his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren numbered at least 350.

Hudson was born while George Washington was president of the United States.

An interesting side story is his connection with his daughter, Jane Swaringen. In August 1956, she was featured in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not comic strip published in papers around the country.

The comic stated “Mrs. Jane Swaringen of Albemarle, N.C. and her father have between them lived during the administration of every President of the U.S.! The father — Joshua Hudson — born 1796 when Washington was President — lived to the age of 99 and had 23 children. Mrs. Swaringen was born in 1874 — when her father was 78 years old.”

At the time this was in the newspapers, in just two generations they had lived through the administrations of the first 34 presidents.

When Swaringen died in 1967, this feat had been extended through Lyndon Johnson — the 36th president.

Lewis Bramlett is a member of the Stanly County Historical Society.