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By SARAH BEACH
Lillian Eaves celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013.
According to Barbara Long, this would make her the same age as U.S. President Richard Nixon, had he lived. Both Eaves and Nixon were born on Jan. 6, 1913.
Eaves, who has always lived in Carroll County, lived in the country most of her life. Her parents were Riley and Nannie Walters Darbro. Later she married Louis Eaves, and the couple had a farm where they raised tobacco and kept a few animals.
“I’m an old country girl,” she said.
The Eaves have one son, Charles, who was the mayor of Ghent at one time. He and his wife, Fay, currently live in Ghent. “He was a good boy, a precious boy,” Eaves said of her son.
Eaves attended a one-room schoolhouse in the county when she was young. A century is a long time, and “quite a few changes” have occurred during her life, Eaves said. As an only child growing up on her family’s farm, she helped to milk the cows and make butter and cheese. She recalled that they would make cottage cheese, which they called “clabbered” cheese.
Eaves always liked to cook and “try new recipes,” she said, but she has also always loved animals. She would name the animals on the farm and make pets out of chickens and cows. “I always loved pets of all kinds,” she said.
She especially loved cats and remembers a yellow cat named Tut who lived with her when she lived on Ninth Street in Carrollton. The owner of the cat, her neighbor, died and the cat adopted Eaves as his owner.
“She would sit on the porch and the cat would sit with her,” Eaves’ friend Marie Van Diver said. Van Diver’s mother used to live near Eaves on 9th Street, and the two would often visit and eat breakfast together.
Eaves still likes to sit and watch the birds out of her window from her home at Green Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center in Carrollton. “She likes to be outdoors,” Van Diver said. “We try and visit fairly often.”