THE SAINT AUGUSTINE RECORD
Sunday, October 21, 1934
Mrs Amelia L Pacetti Will Be 95 Years Old October 24
Has Feminine Record For Age In This City
Mrs Amelia L Pacetti is, according to the data the Record has been able to gather, the oldest woman of St Augustine. She will be 95 next Wednesday, having been born on October 24, 1839. Mrs Pacetti was born in St Augustine and his lived here all her life. Before her marriage she was Miss Amelia Osmundsen, daughter of Anton Bengt Osmundsen, a native of Stavangar, Norway, and Lorana Bonelli, who was born in Modena, Italy. Her father came to this country as a young man in a boat belonging to his father. He had no intention of staying, coming over here for adventure.
Mrs Pacetti was the oldest in the family of eight children it is now the only living child. She attended a private school conducted by Miss Mather. The school was located where the Villa Zorayda now stands. She specialized in music and art and became quite an accomplished musician. When nine years old her father purchase for her one of the first grand pianos owned in St. Augustine. The instrument is still in the family and is very well preserved. Mrs. Pacetti had a brother, William Osmundsen, who joined the Confederate Army and was not seen again by any of the family until after the War Between the States. He fought in the battle of Olustee.
Mrs Pacetti was married to Capt Adolphus Pacetti, who was in the Confederate Navy during the War Between the States. Capt Pacetti fought in the battle of Mobile Bay. He served as sheriff of the county of St Johns, and also held at the office of city alderman at one time. There were three children born to Mr and Mrs Pacetti, two of whom are now living. They are Mrs Minnie Dowd and Mrs Harry Jones, both of St Augustine. Mrs. Pacetti lives with Mrs Harry Jones at the old family home at No 56 Marine Street. This is one of the interesting old residences in St Augustine, being built when Mrs Pacetti was only 12 years old. During the War Between the States, the family was ordered to vacate the home by the Northern soldiers, but Mrs Pacetti made friends with them and by putting them off with various excuses managed to keep the home. The history of the house is quite interesting. Mrs Pacetti's grandmother Mrs Antonia Bonelli, lived there for some time and died there. Her mother, Mrs Osmundsen, lived and died there, and all her children were born there. Mrs Jones was married in the old home, as was one of her daughters.
Mrs Pacetti is still very active in spite of her years. Her sight and hearing are still excellent, and she is a most interesting conversationalist.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article contains several factual errors. As a human interest piece, one imagines that the only source of information was the subject herself, and perhaps her daughter, Nellie Pacetty (Mrs Jones). But this may also just be sloppy reporting. My grandmother(s) may have been short on some facts, but they certainly knew that Amelia's mother was never named Bonelly and was not born in Italy. Amelia's mother and grandmother (Antonia Paul Bonelly) were both American born. Antonia Paula lost the name Bonelly when she married Bartolome Leonardy, and Amelia's mother was Laureanna Leonardy before she married Monson. The choice to include the name Osmundsen in the story feels like a sleight of hand to make the ethnicity sound more exotic—Amelia's male siblings and their children were well known in the city as the Monsons, including the founders of the prominent Monson Hotel on Bay Street. The information about both Civil War veterans is good, but one can only guess how much of the piano and private school story can be verified.
Oldest Resident Dies Here Today
Mrs Amelia L Pacetti Succumbs at 96; Rights Be Held Saturday
Mrs Amelia L Pacetti passed away this morning at 3 o'clock at her home, No.56 Marine Street, at the age of 96 following an illness of three weeks. She was a pioneer resident in St Augustine, and so far as could be determined was the oldest living woman in the city at the time of her death. Mrs. Pacetti was born in Saint Augustine and lived here all her life, residing since the age of twelve at 56 Marine Street, the family home.
The late Mrs. Pacetti, until the time of her death, enjoyed excellent sight and hearing. She was remarkably active and took a keen interest in present-day affairs.
The deceased was the daughter of Anton Bengt Osmundsen, a native of Stavangar, Norway, and Lorana Bonelli, who was born in Modena, Italy. Mrs Pacetti was the wife of the late Capt. Adolphus Pacetti, who was in the Confederate Navy during the War Between the States.
Surviving are two daughters, Mrs Harry Jones, with whom Mrs Pacetti made her home, and Mrs Minnie Dowd, both of this city. There also survive four grandchildren: the Misses Shirley, Mabel, and Mildred Jones of this city and Mrs TC Kirkman, of High Point, NC; two great-grandchildren, Shirley and Tommy Kirkman, and nephew, Mrs Percy C Nickerson of Jacksonville, Miss Katie Monson and William Monson, of Mandarin.
The remains will lie in state at the home of Mrs Harry Jones from early morning tomorrow until the hour of the funeral, Saturday morning at 9 o'clock, when services will be held from the cathedral with a mass. Interment will be made in the San Lorenzo Cemetery.
Mr and Mrs Percy C Nickerson, of Jacksonville, Miss Katie Monson and William Munson, of Mandarin, are out-of-town relatives who will attend the funeral Saturday.
The Ponce Funeral Home is in charge.