Polly Marston has lived a long and adventurous life. Her adventures began in childhood.
Marston, 98, was born in Chengtu, China. "My parents were missionaries for the American Bible Society. My father had a Chinese guide, and they filled their horses' saddlebags with Bibles and literature and ventured out into the wilds," she said.
She and her family moved back to America for two years, then returned to China when she was six.
She enjoys sharing her past.
"My sister and I went to boarding school from the time I was six until 13 years of age. Our school, for a while, was on top of a mountain, far away from our parents. In 1917, there was a terrible famine in China and my father worked to set up food kitchens there, and we helped rebuild people's homes after the Yalu River overflowed its banks and flooded some families out," she said.
While growing up in China, Marston spent a great deal of time writing, drawing pictures and singing. "My sister and I also raised butterflies. We collected caterpillars and waited until they came out of their chrysalis. We watched the progression. Then we made photos of the butterflies and sold them to people," she said.
When she was 13, the family moved to the United States where a teacher encouraged her to continue writing. She has recently written her autobiography.
She eventually attended Wheaton College. "I wanted to be a medical missionary. I graduated in the class of 1929. I went to Moody Bible Institute and received training in evangelism. Then I went on to get my RN degree. After my father had a stroke and a heart attack, I couldn't leave him, so I took care of him for a while. I married a man who also attended Wheaton, and we eventually had four children, three daughters and one son. All of them are still living today. One of my daughters, Priscilla, lives here in Payson with her husband, Reinhard Buss.
Marston credits her overall good health to her religious upbringing and current relationship with God. "I'm 98 years old and I am amazed the Lord still loves me, and He knows what I'm thinking and what I've done all these years. I'm also an RN, so I know how to take care of myself, and the Lord has allowed me to think for myself," she said.
Name: Pauline (Polly) Marston
Occupation: Retired nurse
Family: Widowed, three daughters and one son. One daughter lives in Payson.
Favorite hobby: Reading, bingo
The person I'd most like to meet: Jesus
Why Payson? My daughter lives here.