After many years

Here’s a short piece from the August 30 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about two elderly brothers meeting for the first time in many years.

For those unwilling to read the small type: the Reverend Richard Duke, who lived in Toronto, met his older brother John, who lived in Long Island.

One thing I noticed in the article: John is 81 and Richard is 78, and they are the oldest of eleven children, “all, with the exception of two, [who] lived to extreme old age”. So “extreme old age” was defined to be significantly less than 78 in 1924, given that the Dukes had seven younger long-lived siblings.

Naturally, when I see a report of an older person in the newspaper, I indulge my morbid curiosity and look in the Toronto city directories to see if I can find out how long he lived afterwards. In the case of the Reverend Duke, it was five more years: he appears in the 1929 directory, but the 1930 directory lists his widow.

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