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Civil War Veteran, At 90, Finds Happiness In Work

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When Charles C. Atkins quit work in the tool shop of a local industry seven years ago at the age of 83 years, he looked forward to a life of uninterrupted leisure with zest.
But the pleasure of inactivity palled and he did what few men of his age do - started his own business. In his work, this Civil War veteran, 90 years old today, found a new interest and happiness.
Single-handed, he carries on his saw filing business in a garage at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Charles Petrie, 831 Brookwood place, where he resides. Operating an electric saw filing machine, he does work for many local contractors, for the manual training departments of University High school and Ann Arbor High school, and draws considerable work from rural districts.
Rises at 6:30 a.m.
Up at 6:30 or earlier each morning, he spends most of each day at work, depending on the amount of business. At one time he had 80 saws to file. Sometimes he works as long as 12 hours a day. In addition to filing saws, he chief business, he also sharpens scissors.
He is in excellent health. He is well posted on current events keeping up to date through intensive newspaper reading. His eyesight is good. He wears glasses but they have not needed changing in 15 years.
Tonight, he may stay up beyond his usual retiring hour of 7:30 for he will be the guest of honor at a small dinner arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Petrie. Numerous greeting cards arriving yesterday and today will be opened by him at the dinner.
In Army 18 Months
He is one of Ann Arbor's few Civil War veterans. He enlisted in Dixon, Ill., with Co. A. 34th volunteer infantry, and served for 18 months. He was born April 13, 1847, in Ellisville, Ill., and the family moved in 1850 to Rock Falls, Ill.
Ann Arbor has been his home for 22 years. For the first 15 years, he was employed by the Hoover Ball & Bearing Co. He and his sister, Mrs. Emma J. Leas of Denver, Colo., are the only living members of the family.
In addition to his daughter here, he has two sons, Edward of Chicago, and Dwight, of Tulsa, Okla.