Corinne Alexander: 105 and feeling fine
Sept. 28, 2017

By Blenda Copeland

Forget studying history; she’s lived it -- 18 presidents so far -- from U.S. President #27, William Howard Taft, to President #45, President Donald Trump.

Corinne Alexander of Russell County’s Mt. Olive community, celebrates her 105th birthday today, Sept. 28.

The eldest matron of her church and the immediate Mt. Olive community, Alexander’s family lineage now stretches five generations: to great-great-grandchildren.

Born in 1912, she’s the mother of 10 children, 10 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

In simultaneous interviews, her daughters Alma Alexander and Annie Lindsey said their mother worked hard all her life. Aside from raising her own 10 children, she’s nurtured many, many, more, since that time. She was known for taking neighborhood children into her sphere of care.

She also loved to cook, and was known to grace the table with food on just about any occasion. Sundays after church routinely involve eating with her eight surviving children. Alexander also used to like baking cakes from scratch -- anything from chocolate to coconut and beyond.

Some of her other talents included being known as the informal “community dentist,” “community doctor” and maker of delicious blackberry wine. She was the one that everyone in her community went to when they needed a natural home remedy for various aches and pains. 

She knew which ailments the bark of certain trees was good for. She washed, cooked and ironed clothes for a large family “and never complained,” her daughters said. Her daughters also don’t remember their mother ever being seriously ill.

They also remember that she overflowed with wise sayings through the years.

Some of them included: “Once a job is begun, whether great or small, do it well, or not at all.”

She also told her children that if they did tasks willingly, they wouldn’t seem so hard to do. Another wise saying included warnings about the use of one’s tongue: “That little red rag in your mouth: it will ruin you.” 

She also would warn her children of gossips: “Watch the dog that brings you the bone.”

Of certain people and their attitudes, she’d say that there are some people you should “feed with a long-handled spoon.” Of two-faced people, she’d warn, “Some people have a face for everybody.”

The advice didn’t stop there. She always told her children: “Don’t say anything behind someone’s back that you can’t say to their face.” 

She also taught her children the value of tidiness, saying, “When you get out of the bed, you make that bed.”

Through the years, Alexander also loved making quilts by hand and was known to patch someone’s overalls quickly. She has fixed many a hem on various articles of clothing, too.

Gardening also was a passion of hers, and she loved attending Sunday School at her church. 

“She just loved people,” her daughters said. 

Corinne Alexander was recently recognized at the Miles Family reunion, where she was the oldest matriarch present. 

She also has received a proclamation from the Russell County Commission in honor of her birthday.