Blessed with a long life on this planet is Irene Fosnocht, age 106, born on Sept. 21, 1908 to Ralph L. Fosnocht [died 1959] and Alberta (Livingood) Fosnocht [died 1952].
Livingood & Fosnocht were butchers along Cherry Lane near to the Morgantown Hotel at the corner of North Street and Cherry Lane (Route 122 - now Route 10). They later moved the butcher shop to a building (no longer standing) across an alley behind Morgantown's Old Village Inn. After Irene's father retired, her husband, who had joined the family business some years before, moved the shop next door, into the building on Mill Road that had housed Petersheim Well Drillers.
A short time Irene's family had lived on Best Road and then moved to Goosetown (Willow Glen) where Irene walked to Valley (Pike) School along route 23 just west of Morgantown Village. When they moved to Main Street in the Village in 1914 , she walked to the school built in 1905 just across the street.
As a girl, she learned to crochet and knit. These works of art provided beautiful gifts to distribute for wedding, birthday and Christmas gifts. When she married, her husband Roy would make beautiful frames to hold her artistry. She also learned to play the piano which came in handy when she became a school teacher.
When she was age 13, the fire hall next door was dedicated. The Morgantown Methodist Church had a stand there and she helped take care of that table.
There was a big celebration when she was 16.
Morgantown, at Christmas, would put up a huge tree with lights in the center of town. She and her mother decided to walk from their home in Goosetown to see this display. That night it was pitch dark and as they walked back, they missed the bridge and before they knew it, they were knee high in the stream.
She graduated from Caernarvon High School in 1925, but it only went to 11th grade. For her senior year of high school, she took the train from Joanna to Birdsboro and walked up the hill to Birdsboro High School (The Washington Building in Birdsboro). She graduated from there in 1926 and West Chester Normal School (now West Chester University) in 1928 as a school teacher.
A friend, Roy Montgomery graduated from Pottstown High School. Enamored with each other, they married May 5, 1933
They had one daughter, Shirley Ann who spent her years growing up and living in Morgantown. Hannah Zook kindly gave Shirley Ann some baby peeps for Easter. It was still cold, so the chicks were housed in the kitchen until they were older.
She also graduated from West Chester and became a school teacher. Each year, when school ended for the summer, Shirley Ann spent her break in Hawaii. She met her future husband there. She married James Beningo and had two children Christopher and Shirley. Christopher has two daughters, Chelsea and Shelby, Irene's great grandchildren.
Irene and Roy loved to dance as there was the Morgantown Fire Hall that had a great room for all sorts of activities. Irene loved sports. Many remember when there was a Sunday School picnic at the Methodist parsonage at Goodwill Methodist Church near Loag's Corner when Creed Coulson was running to third base and collided with Irene who was then age 70 knocking her over. She picked herself up and continued to play the game. They built a beautiful gray stone home along Mill Road one block from Main Street overlooking the meadow, forest and stream of the Conestoga. Later, they built a home along Pine Grove Road. This had a beautiful view of the Conestoga Valley all the way from Elverson to Morgantown.
She loved ordinary household antiques like coal oil lamps, Carnival glass, Frying pans and Buffalo China. She was active in the Morgantown Methodist church including teaching Sunday School classes, singing in and directing the choir and directing many pageants.
Her daughter was a member of the Harmony United Methodist church so in her later years she joined the Harmony United Methodist Church.
When Twin Slope Market was active, she worked at the bakery stand.
She was auditor for Caernarvon Township for many years.
She taught and was principal at the Washington Building in Birdsboro. She also taught at Beartown School, Churchtown School, Pottstown Junior High, Central School of West Nantmeal Township and Morgantown School. One school used lesson books that had the answers in the back, so she glued to papers together so her students would have to figure out the answers themselves. Soon parents complained because homework was taking longer and cutting into the time their children's normally spent doing chores. The school officials told her to make the answers available again, but she refused because letting them cheat would teach them nothing. The officials gave in and the pages remained glued.
Morgantown's Irene has surpassed the century age and is presently a resident of Zerbe Sisters Nursing Center.