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Katherine I. Jones; Temperance and Teaching Filled Her 112 Years

April 30, 1992

Katherine Isabel Jones, a teacher, homesteader and temperance worker who continued to teach Sunday school as she passed the century mark, has died in the Los Angeles convalescent home where she had lived for several years.

Her great-niece, Stephanie Hall, said Wednesday that Miss Jones was 112.

When Los Angeles celebrated her 112th birthday last year, complete with a commendation and a visit from Mayor Tom Bradley, there was cake and champagne. But not for her.

"I could take a sip or two, but then I don't want to be a hypocrite," said the woman who as a girl stood outside saloons to scold exiting customers or counseled prisoners who had imbibed too much.

She was born in Paola, Kan., on Aug. 30, 1879, and homesteaded in Colorado before coming to Los Angeles about 1920. Trained as a nurse, she instead became a teacher, a job she said was more fun. "While the students were learning, I was learning myself," she said.

Miss Jones also became an example for adults, teaching adult Sunday school at the Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles and elsewhere for more than 50 years.

Her inspiration, she said, came from a childhood hero--Abraham Lincoln.

"He was an old-fashioned teacher who was not afraid to stand up in the crowd and exhort people to do good," she said last year. "I couldn't do better than to honor the same . . . high standards.

Besides Hall, she is survived by several other nieces, nephews and cousins.

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