Archive for Sunday, March 4, 2012

100 years ago: Oldest Kansan passes away at age 101

March 4, 2012


[Note: Mr. John Gilliland is the same man described in the 100 Years Ago on Feb. 29, 2012. The original 1912 reporter had misspelled or misheard his name as "Gilhan." I believe the spelling used today is the correct version.]

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for March 4, 1912:

"After living for one hundred and one and one-half years, death yesterday afternoon ended the long and happy life of 'Father' John Gilliland, at his home near Worden, in Douglas county, Kan. After an illness extending over the last six months the Kansas centenarian was forced to give up the battle of life and at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon he passed away.... The life of this man is filled with interesting events, events that have made history. But coming from a sturdy New York family he was able to battle against the privations of the western frontier and to live to see his dreams realized in the new State of Kansas.... At the old homestead in Oswego county, New York, he was born in September 1810. He grew up in that state and saw the early development of the nation.... At the age of fifty he felt the call of the west.... In 1860 he arrived in Kansas and immediately built a log cabin for himself and family at the present site of the family home near Worden. The war called for soldiers to defend these new homes, and Mr. Gilliland, then fifty years old, entered the service of the State of Kansas as a member of the militia and served until the close of the war when he again returned to his duties on his farm. Here he has remained ever since. His wife died there many years ago since which time his son has been the active head of the family and has been in charge of the farm. The son, Thomas, is now past sixty years of age and is a grandfather.... Mr. Gilliland always led a simple country life at the old home, taking plenty of exercise in the clear, fresh country air, living comfortably in the old fashioned country home, where everything was neat and pleasant. The cares of the busy world never oppressed him.... The funeral will be held tomorrow morning at the old Union church, six miles west of Baldwin. Interment will be in the Worden cemetery."


SpicePirate 6 years, 2 months ago

Quite a shame the old gentleman didn't get a crack at one last election. I like that he lived a full life, though. I'm sure most of us would be hard pressed to go out with as sure a feeling of having given our all to the life we were graced with. Well lived, Mr. Gilliland. Thank you for the fine example.

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