Open house held in honor of Henry Eshleman's 100th birthday

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Henry Eshleman, who turned 100 on Feb. 7, credits God's grace with his long life.

On Feb. 7, Henry Eshleman celebrated his 100th birthday. He has been a resident of Greencastle for the past 20 years, since he married Lois Martin (now age 95). They reside in their own home with assistants.

He celebrated his birthday with family and friends at an open house at Salem Ridge Community Church on Feb. 5.

He was born in Manheim, Lancaster County, the middle son of Daniel and Mabel Eshleman. He has two brothers, Raymond (of Lancaster County) and Robert (deceased). His father, Daniel, was born in Maugansville, but moved to Lancaster County where he farmed and raised his family.

At the age of 21, Eshleman married Grace Wiegert and together they raised their two sons Ken and Mark. Ken and his wife Dorothy live in Lancaster County and Mark and his wife Barb live in Hanover. From those unions, Eshleman enjoys his four grandchildren and eight grandchildren.

Eshleman bought a farm in East Petersburg, Lancaster County, where he farmed for 31 years. Following that, he drove a school bus for six years and then was employed by Hempfield Elementary and High School for 16 years doing lawn care and maintenance.

He and his first wife retired to Willow Valley Retirement Community. They were married for 52 years.

Several years after her death, Henry met and married Lois Martin (formerly married to now late Russell Martin).

There were married on Thanksgiving Day 1995 and he moved to Greencastle. The marriage brought him six stepchildren, 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Eshleman is a member of Salem Ridge Community Church in Greencastle. Since moving to Greencastle, he has volunteered at Book Savers in Maugansville and World Treasures in Hagerstown. He also volunteered as a helper for Bible Release in Greencastle for eight years.

He often talks about all the things he has witnessed and experienced over 100 years. He remembers farming with horses as a boy and remembers the family's first tractor and other modern technology such as telephones.

He was 3 when his father bought his first car, a model T Ford. Eshleman's first car was a 1936 Ford.

He has always enjoyed life and thanks God for each day. He has enjoyed golfing, fishing, gardening, traveling, good food and spending time with family and friends.

When asked what has been his secret of long life, he stated that it has more to do with God's grace than what he has done. However, he has always lived a good life and treated others with respect and honor. To this day, he continues with his lifelong habit of getting up every morning at 4 a.m. to spend time with God in prayer and reading God's word.