Bower celebrates 104th year

ARNOLD -- An Arnold centenarian-plus celebrated her birthday Nov. 11 and now into her fourth year past the 100 year mark, this fixture of independence reigns queen with her smile. Miriam Bower was born Nov. 11, 1906, which means she just celebrated her 104th birthday! With the help of her daughter Ruth, Miriam is able to reside in her own home where she’s lived since 1937. Ruth assists her mother by checking in on her each day to be sure she’s taken her pills and to lend a hand with cleaning and meal preparation. Miriam was born in Idaho and when she was six, her family decided to relocate to the Arnold area. She and her six brothers lived there for a while before the family decided to move again, this time to Dupree, S.D. Miriam would graduate high school in Dupree and begin her teaching career as well, before getting married in 1928, to her late husband Gerrit Brower. Eventually the couple would move onto a ranch, northwest of Arnold, for a short time, before settling down in town, living in the house where Miriam currently dwells. By the time the Brower’s settled in Arnold, Miriam had given up teaching to become a full-time mom. She never needed to have a job after getting married and focused her time and energy on raising her family and being involved within the community. Miriam did disclose that she’d done some babysitting, once her own children had grown. With a smile on her face, she told about how the “little girl” she used to babysit still comes to visits her. When discussing the village of Arnold, Miriam remarked, “Well I think it’s been a good town.” She elaborated by saying she likes how the town observes holidays and especially enjoys seeing its citizens decorate their homes with lights for Christmas. Miriam is also a faithful member of the Nazarene Church in Arnold, where she’s held such titles such as the Missionary President. Quilting and sewing, playing scrabble, and watching sports are other pastimes that Miriam is fond of. However, she did have to clarify that she isn’t a football fan, but loves to watch basketball. Another occasion Miriam looks forward to, that occurs every few years, is her family’s “Four Generation Vacation” and the name says it all. The vacation consists of a long road trip involving four generations of women from the family. The Brower’s were married for 62 years and in that time produced nine children together, six of which are living. Currently, Miriam has 19 grandchildren, 50 great grandchildren, and 18 great great grandchildren. She also shared that she’s expecting two more great great grandchildren to arrive soon. She, like any grandmother, enjoys visits and phone calls from her family.