June 26, 2019Hannah Emaline Jones Gilliland celebrated her birthday last Thursday. While the celebration was low-key, her birthday was anything but routine, as it was her 100th.
Originally from Hazard, Ky., Hannah came to Crawford County via New Castle, east of Indianapolis, where she worked at the state hospital. It was there that she met her future husband, Gordon Gilliland, who also worked there.
Hannah Emaline Jones Gilliland, who celebrated her 100th birthday last Thursday, grew up in Kentucky but came to Crawford County after marrying the late Gordon Gilliland. The couple was married for 74 years prior to Gordon passing away in 2015. Photos submitted
The couple made their home in English, first along old S.R. 64 and then along the new state highway.
Besides a period of about three years when she worked at a nursing home in Clarksville, Hannah was a homemaker on the couple's farm, preparing meals for the farmhands when she wasn't working the farm herself.
"She has always been a farmer's wife," said Shirley Gilliland, who is married to the couple's son, Frankie Nolan.
Tammy Jellison, a granddaughter, added: "She was as much the farmer as him."
The couple, who celebrated 74 years together before Gordon passed away on July 13, 2015, were blessed with four sons total, including, in addition to Frankie Nolan, Gordon Johnson, Timothy Randall and Douglas Patrick, along with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Hannah, like many people her age, struggles with her memory. However, she still loves a good game of euchre, which she has played her entire life. Jellison joked that, even during their last game a few months ago, Hannah was still competitive.
"If I win, she gets mad," she said.
Jellison added that Hannah enjoyed going to the senior citizens building, where she and others always struck up a hand of euchre.
"If there were four people there, there was going to be a card game, no matter what," joked Kathy Apple-Denbo, whose family would celebrate Christmas Eve at Gordon and Hannah's farmhouse.
Hannah, who still lives in her home at English, enjoys reading magazines and gets a kick out of seeing photos of herself from her youth, saying, "See that woman up there? She's beautiful." She'll then grin.
On her birthday, family members visited Hannah, bringing a cake and singing "Happy Birthday."
Hannah, who for years attended the old Methodist church in English, is a member of the English Church of God, along with the Order of the Eastern Star.