Adventures of the sort most people just read about were real-life experiences for Olive Celia Graham Estey's ancestors.
Estey was born Sept. 29, 1888, in Mendon, Utah - the ninth of 12 children - to pioneer parents, John Marion and Mary Ellen Rowe Graham. Her grandfather, Thomas Bradford Graham, who crossed the plains in 1847, losing his wife and newborn 11th child en route, was an original settler in Mendon.Estey's beginnings were not far removed from those pioneer days in northern Utah. In her 100 years, she has seen the progression from covered wagon to spacecraft.
Among the family stories she often heard as a child was one concerning her grandfather. In December 1864 the senior Graham was gathering wood with his son-in-law, Andrew, when protective mother grizzly attacked him. Although a man of prodigious strength and courage, Graham had only a freshly sharpened axe with him, and he was killed in one swift swat of the angry bear's paw.
As a child, Estey moved with her parents to the Salt Lake Valley, to the area that ultimately became Sandy. Later, they made another move to Murray, where she spent much of her childhood.
Estey married Joseph Clyde Werner in 1909 and they had two sons, Clyde and Floyd and a daughter Lillian - all of whom are now deceased.
Estey and Werner were later divorced, and she married Edward Earl Estey. He died in 1980.
Estey and her sisters Elizabeth Crellin and Merl Knowlden were valued employees of American Linen Supply Co. Altogether, they provided nearly 75 years of dedicated service.
A open house in honor of Estey's 100th birthday, hosted by Jack Crel-lin, Erma Draper and Rhoda Werner, will be held Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hillside Villa, 1216 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City.
The management and employees of Hillside Villa will commemorate her birthday on Sept. 29. Estey is their oldest resident.