Longtime Arkansas Teacher Dies at 109

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - One of Arkansas' oldest residents has died.  Pearl H. Spyres died Wednesday at her home in Fayetteville, her family said.  She was 109.

Born Pearl Harp in 1898 to a West Fork farm family, she began work as a teacher when she was just 17.  Early in her career, she rode her horse to a one-room schoolhouse in Washington County to teach every day.

Spyres taught reading, writing and arithmetic to students in grades one through eight.

Every other semester, Spyres took courses at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville to get her teaching certificate.  There, she met her future husband, Sherman W. "Buck" Spyres.  The couple married in 1924.  Buck Spyres died in the late 1970s.

Spyres breifly lived in Tulsa, where she was a "Rosie the Riveter", or a woman who worked in a manufacturing plant during World War II.

Spyres also helped her husband to run Buck's Army Store on College Avenue in Fayetteville.

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