The Pryor Times

December 31, 2013

It’s Hammer time: Resident celebrates 100th birthday

Staff Writer
Susan Wagoner

PRYOR, OK — Today marks the end of 2013. Another year has passed.

For one Pryor woman who celebrates a birthday on New Year’s Eve, the whole world joins in on the party.

And Elizabeth Hammer has had a few birthday parties in her day. One hundred of them to be exact. That makes her older than Double Bubble gum, which was invented in 1928.

She was born in Fairland in 1913. Former President Richard Nixon was born in January of the same year. The crossword puzzle was also invented in 1913.

She’s been witness to change, from switchboard-operated telephones to cell phones.

In her youth, a text message was called a telegram.

Elizabeth graduated from Chouteau High School in 1932, the same year the parking meter was invented. She went on to Northeastern College, now known as Northeastern State University, with a desire to teach.

After completing 50 college hours, she got her teaching degree and began teaching in 1933, the same year the first drive-in movie theater was prototyped in Richard Hollingshead’s driveway.

Later she returned to school and received her master’s degree in the field.

In those days, the place where you found information wasn’t referred to as the internet, but the library.

Her first teaching job was at Cave Springs, Ark. In the years that followed, she also taught at Iron Post, Graham, McNair (home school), Archer, Osage, O’Greeta and Claremore Junior High.

For more than 40 years, she guided young minds in the classroom and served as principal in several of the schools.

During those years, she saw many new things happen in the world around her. The microwave oven was born in 1946 and the Hula Hoop in 1958. Compact Disks came on the scene in 1965 and the beloved Hacky Sack was created in 1972.

She retired in 1977, spending her entire career educating without the assistance of a computer. She did, however, have access to Post-It notes in those final teaching years, after the mainstay was invented in 1974.

Since retirement, she has stayed busy. She has been an active member of the USO since 1996.

She is a member of the Pryor Methodist Church and has been an active member of the Business Professional Womens Club.

She was also in the Red Hatters Club in Pryor for many years.

The City of Pryor has issued a proclamation naming Dec. 31 Elizabeth Hammer Day in honor of her 100th birthday.

She has seen a lot of changes over the last hundred years, but one thing remains the same; when she has a birthday, the whole world celebrates.

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth.