Robert Still:

100 quality years of electrical, construction and dairy

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 11/7/18

A longtime Cleveland resident, Robert Still, recently turned 100 years old at his home, and recounted his life up until this point to the Cleveland Daily Banner.

Born on Nov. 1, 1918, Still …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Robert Still:

100 quality years of electrical, construction and dairy

Posted

A longtime Cleveland resident, Robert Still, recently turned 100 years old at his home, and recounted his life up until this point to the Cleveland Daily Banner.

Born on Nov. 1, 1918, Still arrived just in time for World War I to end. Attending Taylor Elementary School at a young age, he then went to Bradley County High School and would walk a considerable distance to meet up with his father, a postman, on his route to get to and from school.

The fourth of 12 siblings, Still and his late wife, Esther, had a son and daughter together. Unfortunately, his son has since passed away, but his daughter currently lives in Georgia. He has several grandchildren as well.

Throughout his young adult life, Still worked on construction in Oak Ridge, leading up to and throughout World War II. After being drafted by the U.S. Army, he was rejected for service due to a leg injury he sustained as a child.

“The  Army was after me, but they turned me down because of that leg injury,” Still said.

This injury didn’t stop his work ethic, however, as he continued to work in Oak Ridge for several years.

He said every time he and his construction crew would complete a section of buildings to house the Manhattan Project, the section would be closed off and guarded by armed personnel, which was his indicator that they were working on something big.

Following his time as a construction worker, Still worked as a lineman installing telephone lines throughout the countryside.

Working in Dunlap and Copper Hill, Still’s manager worked a week before leaving. After getting acquainted with his general foreman from Colorado, Still was offered his manager’s vacant position, a role he filled for around three years.

“We installed over 100 miles of lines in the '40s, and after about six years in the field, I quit electrical work and went to farming and milking cows,” he said.

In 1951, he purchased a farm from his father, who also owned an adjacent farm nearby. Still operated the dairy farm for several years before his retirement. He said the dairy industry was once a proud occupation, but has “gone downhill” in recent years due to many dairies outsourcing cows from foreign countries like Mexico.

As a celebration of his 100th birthday, Still’s 85-year-old sister Betty Elmore and her husband, Benny, came to visit him.

“I feel like the older sibling between the two of us, and I’m the youngest of 12!” Betty laughed.

Still says his secret to a long life is simply being as good of a person as he can be, and also working hard throughout life.

While he notices obvious differences between his adolescent years and 2018, Still says there are still millions of good, honest people in the world, despite the negative aspects present as well.

“If we can keep somebody in office running the country right, we’ll be all right and keep doing well,” he added.

Now that he’s retired, Still rents portions of his farm out and said he mostly “loafs around and watches TV.” He doesn’t read very much, but says he probably should. He’s also been a member of Thompson Springs Baptist Church for nearly 80 years.

Upon the conclusion of his interview with the Cleveland Daily Banner, Still said, “I’ll see you this time next year!”


Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE