Ruth Duke Lifelong Welti Resident Turns 100

by | Dec 26, 2017 | Interviews, Videos

East Elementary Archery 2017 State Champions
Ruth Duke Lifelong Welti Resident Turns 100; Shows NO Sign Of Slowing Down

Margaret Ruth Harris Duke was born on a snowy night in Welti on December 12, 1917.

The weather conditions that night were deteriorating quickly. Snow and ice buried the dirt road now known as County Road 703. Road conditions to and from Cullman became impassable in places.

An attending physician called to administer the birth was forced to abandon his Model T over a mile away. He bravely hiked to the small farmhouse inhabited by Alpha G. and Vesta P. Harris.

After a short wait, the new resident arrived in Welti, and she hasn’t left.

At the time of Ruth’s birth, the average cost of a gallon of milk was 14 cents. In 2017, the average price has risen to $3.39.

Ruth Duke is a lifelong resident of this eastern Cullman County community. She celebrated her 100th birthday recently surrounded by a large gathering of family, friends, neighbors, customers, and well-wishers at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

She took in over 250 birthday cards!

Ruth recently received official documents from both Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and U.S. President Donald Trump commemorating her centenarian status.

Ruth married Mr. Hanley Duke in 1938. Together, they have accumulated:

★ Four children
★ Ten grandchildren
★ 20+ great-grandchildren
★ Two great-great-grandchildren

Ruth remains an active businesswoman. She runs a quilting business with an extended waiting list for her perfectly patterned quilts. At her peak in 2005, she produced 52 quilts in one year.

Ruth is a proud graduate of Welti Elementary School.

We talk at length with Ruth in this interview about many of the memorable aspects of her first 100 years:


Ruth Duke Lifelong Welti Resident Turns 100

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at

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