Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Oldest woman in the US dies.

Or was she the oldest woman??

Supposedly, Arbelia Wood was 119 years old when she died in her sleep of pneumonia on Friday.
She had been living in Michigan since 1993 but was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Unfortunately Mississippi birth records date only to 1912 and Arbelia never had a drivers license and even if she was on the 1890 census those records were lost in a fire in 1921. The only evidence of her age was inscribed in a family bible.

So if it's true, if she was born in Caledonia, Mississippi on April 6, 1885 (the eldest of 16 BTW!!) she would have been only the second oldest person, documented, ever. According to the Guinness Book of Records Web site the record oldest woman lived to 122 years.

When I hear stories about the "extreme-aged" people my mind reels!
Take Arbelia, if she was born in 1885 she'd have been:

*- 15 yrs. at the turn of the Century (1900's)
*- 29 yrs. at the start of World War I
*- 44 yrs. at the start of the Great Depression
*- 56 yrs. at the start of World War II
*- 84 yrs. when man first walked on the moon! and she's still be around for another 21 years after that!

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