A recent article in the January 6, 2023 edition of the USA Today reports that the oldest person in America died at 115 in Lake City, Iowa!
This resurrects the memory of the above named individual whose alleged life span covered 122 years and included a long tenure as a resident and employee of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
The Facebook listing “Chattanooga Has History” has several comments from individuals about Mark Thrash and a historical marker in the park traces his past back to the alleged day of his birth in 1820 near Charlottesville, Virginia where he was born a slave after his mother was brought from Africa.
Several interesting facts surround Mark Thrash. Named after his owner, Dr. Christopher Thrash, one version asserts that he was brought to the area during the Civil War.
A second story reported about him claims he was brought to Northwest Georgia “to help clear land.”
The information on said marker is worth reviewing and the inscription on it included a record of his personal life up to his death on December 17, 1943.
A report of one federal Park Ranger suggests a verification of his birth from written records obtained during his subsequent employment from 1894 and his retirement as a federal employee in 1927 at the age of 101.
He resided in a two-room log cabin in the park that was removed but initially was a location for visitors to meet and talk to the unique individual. It was located on North Dyer Field east of Chickamauga-Vittatoe Road.
A copy of a book on his life “I Found The Glory”, is in the library on the premises.
If you are a local history fan, following up on this late individual should be interested reading or an enjoyable trip to the first Civil War battlefield established in 1890.
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You can reach Jerry Summers at firstname.lastname@example.org