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Possibly oldest living Tennessean gets year older

Gabe Farmer Democrat Correspondent • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Wilson County’s Cloa Elizabeth Gragg will celebrate her 110th birthday on Saturday. 

Gragg, the youngest of nine children, was born in Putnam County in 1903, and grew up in Baxter. As a child, Gragg’s interests were playing jacks, wading through creeks and riding horses. 

At 110, Gragg may be the oldest living resident of Tennessee; the state Health Department is currently working with her family in an attempt to confirm that possibility.

Growing up in the early 20th Century, Gragg performed many tasks that many Middle Tennesseans of today never have, such as canning vegetables, washing her family’s clothes on a washboard, chopping wood for the stove and fetching water from a well. 

Those who know Gragg said she was never afraid of hard work, and she always did her work well. Her family says she makes the best stewed potatoes ever. 

The day before Christmas in 1922, Gragg married her now late husband, Robert Taylor Gragg.  The couple had three children, all sons, the late J.B. Gragg, the late Billy T. Gragg, and Arnold Allison Gragg, who lives in Mt. Juliet with his wife Doris. 

Gragg’s family also includes seven grandchildren, all of which reside in Tennessee, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild, as well as many nieces and nephews. 

Currently, Gragg lives in Wilson County with her family. These days her hobbies include sewing quilts, eating fried chicken and occasionally playing a game of dominoes.

Gragg said her longevity comes from being a good person, doing hard work and eating sauerkraut.

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