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For immediate release:
June 4, 2013
Reyne Telles, Office of Mayor Lee Leffingwell, (512) 974-7988

Mayor Leffingwell to help celebrate milestone birthday for Austin resident

Martha Coleman will celebrate her 108th birthday on June 5 and Mayor Lee Leffingwell will attend her birthday celebration, declaring Wednesday “Martha Coleman Day” in Austin, Texas.

The event will be at the Blackland Neighborhood Center, 2005 Salina Street at 10:15 a.m.

The Blackland Neighborhood Center is just a few blocks from Coleman’s home, where she resides today.  The Neighborhood Center is the location where until a few years ago, Coleman would travel to twice a week to quilt with friends and family.   She said her mother and sister taught her how to sew in 1912 when she was 7 years old.  Many of her quilts have been on display at the City of Austin’s George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.

According to family members, Martha Coleman is the daughter of a Travis County farmer and was the sixth of 14 children.  She attended the then-segregated Anderson High School until her father became ill.  At age 16, Coleman quit school to use her sewing skills to help support her family.  She married the late Andrew Coleman, raised two sons and worked as a cook for various Austin doctors and lawyers.

“I understand Martha occasionally makes it to the quilting club and I can only hope to be as active when I am 108 years old,” Mayor Leffingwell said.

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