LAKE CITY, Iowa — There isn’t a birthday cake big enough to hold all of the candles necessary to celebrate a special birthday in Calhoun County.
In November 1907, Teddy Roosevelt was president, the World War I was still seven years away, and Bessie Hendricks was welcomed into the world. On Tuesday, friends and family celebrated Bessie’s 110th birthday with cake, while she celebrated with song.
Bessie was 32 years old when the song “You Are My Sunshine” was written, and she hasn’t forgotten a verse or lost a step since then.
A lifelong resident of Lake City, Bessie was once a teacher at the town’s one room schoolhouse. After marrying and starting a family, she took up crocheting. Her family says their houses are still filled with their mother’s creations.
Bessie says her secret to long life is hard work; she is believed to be the oldest living Iowan. Her family says she is a huge Iowa Hawkeye fan and still follows the team.