Libertyville's NSDAR chapter celebrates oldest member at 103

The year was 1920. A pound of coffee cost 47 cents. Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States. It would be three years later before Garrett Morgan, an African-American man, would invent the traffic light in 1923. And on Oct. 9, 1920, Beulah Mae (Jackson) Seabrooks was born.

Beulah was born in Marshallville, Georgia, a small town in Macon County. Her father died when she was only 9 years old. Her mother eventually remarried and she, along with her sister, were raised by her stepfather and mother in Macon, Georgia.

As a young lady, Beulah worked with her sister at the local box manufacturer. One day, on her way home from work, she met a young man, Julius Caesar Seabrooks. Julius would frequently meet up with Beulah riding on a pair of roller skates.

They fell in love and married in a small ceremony in the backyard of Julius' parents' home on Dec. 11, 1937. Beulah and Julius had five children, and she has 11 living grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.

Over the last 103 years, Beulah has experienced a lot. She moved from Macon to Detroit, Michigan, during the Great Migration in the 1940s. She worked for many years at Mirrex, an automobile subsidiary company that made mirrors for cars.

She retired from Mirrex in 1986 at the age of 66. She was president of the usher board at First Union Baptist Church in Detroit. With the "help of the Lord" (her favorite phrase), Beulah celebrated her 103rd birthday.

Beulah, the matriarch of her family, became an approved member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, on Aug. 5, 2020, and is a member of the Ansel Brainerd Cook Chapter. She traces her lineage back to Robert Hart, born around 1760 in North Carolina and died around 1839 in Jones County Georgia. Robert was a soldier and received a Georgia Land Lottery Grant in 1827.

She is likely the oldest living African-American DAR member. She joins six other DAR African-American women from her family, three of whom belong to the Ansel Brainerd Cook Chapter in Libertyville.

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