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Lillie Hannah Bales

Great Gramma Gillespy 1950

This is the way that I like to remember Gramma Gillespy.  She was so soft and comfortable.  She died three months before I turned 10 years old, but I still can feel her holding me.

Lillie Hannah was born on March 16, 1876 in Shelby Co., Illinois. Her parents were Jacob "Duby Jake" and Louiza Bales.  Lillie's parents were cousins!

Summer of 1910. From back clockwise; Rosa,Elsie,Gramma Lillie, Florence, Harlan and Bill.  Picture provided by Kermit Z. Pennock>>>>>>>>>

She was the youngest of eight children.  She grew up in Shelby Co. and married Amanuel Jones in 1891.  They soon started a family and  Lillie was a wonderful mother to her ten children:

Clara Mae Jones
Rosa Rebecca Jones
Elsie Jane Jones
Florence Ellen Jones
Louis Sylvester Jones
Vina May Jones
Harlan Edward Jones
William Genoa Jones
Phelma Lucille Jones
Alma Lillian Jones

Both Clara and Vina May died when they were quite young and Lillie never quite got over the loss.  In 1918, she lost her husband, Amanuel.  It was quite a blow to the family, but Lillie managed to continue to provide a loving and nurturing environment for her children.  Amanuel died in Bourbon, Crawford Co., Missouri and the family moved back to Stewardson, Shelby Co., Illinois soon after.

She married twice after Amanuel died.  The first time to Howard "Bobby" Davis.  He was a wonderful father to her children, but due to their differences she divorced him.

<<Circa 1924, from left; Bill, Phelma, Bobbie Davis, Alma and Gramma in Illinois. Picture provided by Kermit Z. Pennock.

Several years later she met an old friend, Ellis Gillespy and they married.  Ellis was a kind and generous man.  He served in World War I and received the Medal of Honor.  He had almost lost his legs during a battle, but managed to save a young man's life as well as his own.  He was crippled for the rest of his life, but it was a 'miracle' that he could even walk.

<<Ellis Gillespy circa 1945

Ellis Gillespy was a wonderful grandfather to my dad, Dwight Halfaker.  Dad asked him many questions about the War and Ellis was never too busy to spend his time with an inquisitive little boy.

Gramma and Ellis spent many loving years together until he died in 1955.  I never got to know him but through dad's stories, his memory lives on!  Gramma, Lillie was very healthy until about 1963.  Her health started failing and her daughters took care of her until she died on September 17, 1966.  One of the legacies that Lillie has left to her family are many delicious recipes.  All of her great granddaughters make the best buttermilk biscuits you ever ate!!!

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