Claire Pauline "Polly" Ragland was born in Metropolis on February 23, 1920 to Lillie Mae (Williamson) Williams and John "Butch" Williams. She was the youngest of eight siblings -- Bertha Hopson, Estelle Williams, Belle English, Lillian Grace, Otis Williams, Earl Williams and Fern Williams.
Ragland attended school in Metropolis and graduated from Metropolis High School. Ten days after graduation, in 1937, she went to work at Good Luck Glove Company, where she continued to work in the glove industry for 58 years.
She married Charles Law in 1954 and after his death in 1962, she re-married John Ragland, who passed away in 2008. She is a member of First United Methodist Church.
According to Ragland a couple of years ago her great-niece bought her a walking cane and when the weather is cooperative, she tries to walk a little bit.
She said a couple of months ago she took her driving test and passed without any problems. She said the only place she does not drive in is Paducah, but if she needs to go to the grocery or drug store, she is still able to drive.
According to Ragland, a couple of years ago she fell and cracked some vertebra in her back and had to wear a brace for 13 weeks, but is doing better now and outside of a few minor health-related problems, she is in good health.
When asked about the changes she has seen in Metropolis she said the town does not have as many stores as it had in the 1930s and 1940s, when people could buy anything they needed here in town.
Ragland said she does not have any secrets about how to live a long life, but said, "I've just been very blessed." She also said she has been blessed with good neighbors.
Anyone who would like to help her celebrate this momentous occasion is encouraged to send a birthday card to Ragland at 306 W. Fifth Street, Metropolis, IL 62960.
Ragland's family members will hold a private celebration in her honor later this month.