‘By the grace of God, I’m still here’: Hogansville honors 100-year-old weaver artist

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2022

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By Chase Davis

HOGANSVILLE — Frankie Willoughby has spent her entire life hand-weaving baskets, hats, mats and many other creations out of the hay and pine straw scattered across her yard. It’s a skill she expertly continues even after reaching 100-years old. On Monday, the Hogansville City Council and a host of Willoughby’s family joined together to celebrate Willoughby’s accomplishment of being the city’s most recent centenarian.

The city issued an official proclamation to thank Willoughby for her service to the community and to acknowledge the celebration of her birthday. Furthermore, the city formally requested to use one of her famed handmade baskets to display in the upcoming Hogansville city museum.

Willoughby was born on May 21, 1922, in the Hogansville-Troup County area. She previously worked in the area’s nursing homes and shortly at the mill in Hogansville.

Since she was seven years old, Willoughby has had a passion for basket weaving, a skill that she has shared with her own family and, as she said, anyone who wants to learn. She has been recognized throughout Georgia for her talent and people have come from across the country to see and purchase her baskets.

Despite her age, Willoughby noted that she feels well and is looking forward to several more years of life.

“I may be a hundred years old, but I feel like I am 15, so put that in your pipe and smoke it,” Willoughby said.

She also expressed her sincere thankfulness for those who came out to visit and celebrate her birthday with her, and she reflected on the past 100 years of her life.

“I have seen and done many things in my life,” Willoughby said. “There have been good times, and there have been bad times, but by the grace of God I am still here.”