In 1919, Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, took over as head of the Ford Motor Co., President Theodore Roosevelt died, the 18th Amendment authorizing prohibition was ratified, Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the Constitution for women’s suffrage, the League of Nations is founded in Paris, Congress establishes the Grand Canyon as a national park, the commonwealth of the Philippines was established, the Treat of Versailles formally ends WWI, Felix the Cat debuts in Feline Follies and a baby named Mimi was born.
On May 11, Mimi Filley celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at the Vernon Filley Art Museum in Pratt. Family and friends gathered at the museum to celebrate Filley’s life and share memories with Filley about her life.
As for living to be 100, Filley said she always ate and slept well but had no special activity that helped her live so long. She said it’s important to take care of yourself and she did just that.
“I didn’t have any bad habits,” Filley said. ” I never smoked, not ever.”
She loved to travel with her husband, Dr. Vernon Filley, and was very comfortable traveling. She developed a love for art at a very early age. According to a history, read by Filley Art Museum executive director Stan Reimer, Filley’s love for art started when she toured an art museum on Omaha when she was in high school. She noticed that many of the artworks were donated by individuals and she decided then to collect art that would someday be in a museum. Although she didn’t paint or draw, she loved art and wanted to share it with others in a museum.
She wanted the museum to be about art for children and wanted the museum located close to schools.
The Filley Art Museum became a reality and now regularly plays host to students. This spring they will offers 21 art classes with many for children.
“The museum belongs here. It will always be here,” Filley said.
Filley said she had a good life and her best times were spent with her family who encouraged her to enjoy life.