Margaret Kender , who on Friday turned 107, survived the Flood of 1913 in Dayton, Ohio, and got friendly greetings as a teenager from aviation pioneer Orville Wright as she passed his laboratory on her way home from work.
Kender is in good health and has a keen memory, with the ability to recall locations and street names from Dayton of a century ago. She lives with her daughter, Shirley Skaggs, 82, in the Cherrywood Estates Community in southwest Marion County.
Kender spoke Thursday about growing up in Dayton during the early 20th Century.
Born Margaret Liphart on Oct 30, 1908, she grew up the daughter of Hungarian immigrants in an area of the city populated mainly by German, Polish and Hungarian families. As a youngster, her home had no electricity, no phone and no indoor plumbing….
Kender attended parochial school through the 8th grade and as a youth “stripped tobacco” and later worked in a General Motors factory that made wooden steering wheels.
From the GM plant, she would take the streetcar to a corner near her home and walk past Orville Wright’s laboratory on Broadway street. As she passed, he often would be standing outside and say something like “Are you tired? Did you work hard today?” Kender said, adding that he always wore a black derby.
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