Melvin Harold reaches 100 year milestone
Melvin Harold’s advice for living a long, healthy life is “don’t drink, don’t smoke, trust in Jesus and keep busy with things you love to do.” It’s hard to argue with that logic when it’s coming from someone who turned 100 years old Friday, April 3, 1920, and Melvin’s life is filled with just that, doing things he loves and loving Jesus.
Melvin was born April 3, 1920, on his grandfather’s farm, which was one mile east of Sycamore in Brown County – Melvin was born the oldest of three children to Charles Franklin Harold and Clara Mae Engle. His siblings are Gerald “Fuzzy” Harold and Betty (Harold) McAlister.
While Melvin never went to high school, he did attend many schools while growing up. He went to Blaine School – south of Hamlin – during first and second grade. During his third grade year, he attended Blaine School as well as a school in San Fransisco, Calif., for three months before coming back to Hamlin, and then moved on to Falls City, Neb. He continued school in Falls City, Neb., during his fourth and fifth grade years. Lastly, he attended Flickenger School – two miles east of Sycamore – for grades sixth through eighth. Later in life, he took a draftsman course by correspondence.
When Melvin was young, he attended Rock Creek Church until it closed, and then attended the Methodist Church in Sabetha. His maternal grandfather was a Pilgrim Holiness preacher.
Since Melvin grew up in the church, it’s still an important part of his life and he continues to read his Bible each day.
“God is a comfort and strength to me,” Melvin said.
Growing up, Melvin spent a lot of time playing outside.
“I grew up playing in the creek,” Melvin said. “I learned to swim there. I loved to ride horses and hunt for rabbits and squirrels with my 22 rifle. I also rode cows, too, for fun!”
As for dangers while growing up, Melvin said, there were no problems with alcohol back then, and he didn’t even know about drugs.
“The worst thing that could happen to you was falling in the mud,” Melvin said.
Melvin’s parents’ first car was a 1926 Chevrolet, and Melvin learned how to drive a car around the age of 14 or 15.
Melvin married Irene Moore on Feb. 1, 1942, in parsonage of Congregational Church in Sabetha. Melvin and Irene were country neighbors. They started seeing each other when he would ride with her and her parents to different places. While Melvin and Irene never had any children, they enjoyed going to the movies, rollerskating and swimming. They also loved to travel.
As a couple, they saw all 50 states and visited Europe several times, as well as all the Scandanavian countries. They also visited Alaska twice, Panama, Costa Rica, Cozumel and the Grand Cayman Islands. Their favorite place close to home was Branson, Mo., and they went there many times.
Melvin joined the military from March 1, 1942, until Sept. 6, 1945. He was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Amphibious Infantry, 7th Division. Melvin was also in World War II assigned to Alaska, then to Pacific Theater – Hawaii, Marshall Islands, Philippines, Okinawa, Guam and Saipan. Melvin was wounded in Okinawa two times and was awarded two purple hearts.
After leaving the military in 1945, Melvin worked at Midamerica Dairymen nearly 40 years, until 1985. After working a few years for Midamerica Dairymen, he was promoted to plant superintendent and then plant manager.
Melvin had many hobbies throughout his life. Melvin has been working with wood since he was about 8 years old. He’s made and still makes beautiful creations from wood, such as desks, book shelves, coffee tables, picture frames, children’s barns, fences and farm animals. When he was young, Melvin made things out of orange crates as well. Melvin also made jewelry while in the Army.
Melvin and Irene used to fish a lot at Old Sabetha Lake or in the river, but they quit fishing because Irene did not like the chiggers.
Melvin liked to grow roses — Mr. Lincoln and Chrysler Imperials were his favorites.
He also talked about some of his favorite things. His favorite drink is coffee, his favorite season is the fall, his favorite meal is good Chinese and butter pecan is his favorite ice cream. Big Band is his favorite music and westerns are his favorite books and TV programs.
Melvin and Irene lived in many places throughout Sabetha. Their first home was an upstairs apartment south of the post office. Then they lived in a house on the land where the Apostolic Christian Home is now. After that, they lived in a house on South Eighth Street, and later built a house across the street. Later on, Melvin and Irene moved to the Cobblestone Senior Living Facility. Finally, Melvin and Irene moved to the Apostolic Christian Assisted Living Facility on Sept 1, 2013. Irene passed away on Nov. 2, 2013. Melvin is still currently living in the Apostolic Christian Assisted Living Facility.
Melvin was honored as resident of the month at the Apostolic Christian Assisted Living Facility in November 2019.
As for the current COVID-19 pandemic, Melvin said he’s lived through times of many scary diseases, but has never seen anything like what we’re going through right now.