101-year-old says secret to long life is golden rule
By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 8, 2008 2:05 AM
The 20th century was still in its infancy when Minnie B. McIntyre Hill was born on May 20, 1907. Teddy Roosevelt was in the White House and many of the marvels of the century as well as the devastation of two world wars and the many smaller conflicts were yet to come.
Mrs. Hill quietly celebrated her 101st birthday last month -- the "big celebration" was last year when she reached the century mark.
She attributes her long life "to treating people right."
When asked if she was 101, she smiled as she replied, "something like that."
Mrs. Hill, who shares a home with her stepdaughter, Janice Hill, enjoys sitting on the porch or watching religious programming on her television.
And other than a touch of arthritis, she is in good health and doesn't have take any medications.
"Her health is better than mine, and I am only 60," Janice Hill said.
"He (Minnie Hill's doctor) is just amazed that at her age she does as well as she does," Janice Hill said.
Minnie Hill said she still enjoys eating whatever she likes, particularly collards and fried chicken. She said she also loves soft drinks.
"I like Cokes and Pepsi," she said. "They are strong. I also like to drink Dr. Pepper."
"We look out for each other," Janice Hill said. "She used to love to work in the yard and with her flowers. She still makes her bed and washes some dishes."
She said her stepmother goes to bed early, but sometimes gets up early as well.
Minnie Hill was born in Fremont and spent most of her life there.
She said it "has been so long" that she can't remember how many years she has lived in Goldsboro, but that it has been a "long, long time."
Minnie Hill recalls working at the J.P. Taylor Tobacco Factory on the corner of John and Holly streets for many years. Janice Hill said it was probably 20-25 years.
Minnie Hill said she sometime worked handling the tobacco and at other times removing the stems.
She still remembers the strong aroma of the tobacco.
"It was strong," she said. "I worked there so long I got used to it. Some people wore masks."
Mrs. Hill was among those honored by the Goldsboro Chapter of the NAACP at a Freedom Banquet recognizing black women who had worked at the factory.
Mrs. Hill said she also did some "service work" -- housework -- for others.
She and her stepdaughter attend New Stony Hill Church on Poplar Street Extension.
"We go twice a month," Janice Hill said. "She is always ready to go."
Minnie Hill and her late husband, Roscoe Hill, were married for 40 years. She is also the stepmother of former Goldsboro chief of police Chester Hill, Robert Hill of New Jersey and Edna Artis of Goldsboro.
She said she has so many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren that it is difficult to keep up with them.
Mrs. Hill said she has only been in an airplane once in her 101 years. It was a short flight, she was scared and didn't like it and she has never flown since.