7 December 1865Nulltown, Indiana, United States


31 January 1978Connersville, Indiana, United States



Alma Abernathy

Alma Florence Abernathy (née Ball) was an American supercentenarian whose age is validated by LongeviQuest. She is believed to be the first supercentenarian to have both been born and passed away in the U.S. state of Indiana.

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Alma Abernathy was born near Nulltown, Indiana, USA, on 7 December 1865. She was the youngest daughter of Jarvis and Cynthia (née Coe) Ball, and attended grade school at Burk School in Nulltown. On 20 December 1886, she married Jesse Abernathy, and moved to the Laurel community in Franklin County, Indiana, where they would farm for a living. The couple would go on to have four children (all of whom Alma would outlive) in addition to adopting a daughter, and would remain married for 63 years before Jesse’s death on 8 January 1950. She continued to live on her own for another decade, before moving in with her foster daughter in 1960. She was a longtime member of the Columbia United Methodist Church.

Abernathy claimed she had never visited a doctor’s office until she was 90, and was first hospitalized at the age of 99 following a fall. Her 100th birthday was celebrated with an open house, which over 200 people attended. As a centenarian, her favorite pastime was watching television, with a particular highlight for her being the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, which occurred when she was 103. She also enjoyed cooking and sewing, but gave up these hobbies around the age of 104 due to failing eyesight. She suffered another fall one month before her 106th birthday, and spent a week in hospital being observed, although she didn’t break any bones and was able to recover without any complications. A lifelong Republican, she had voted in every major election since women gained the right to vote in 1920. A few months before her 109th birthday, failing health led to her being moved into a nursing home.

Alma Abernathy died in Connersville, Indiana, USA on 31 January 1978 at the age of 112 years, 55 days, following a lengthy illness. She was survived by a foster daughter, 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great-grandchildren.

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In December 1975, she celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming the first known supercentenarian who was both born and living in the U.S. state of Indiana.

In October 1987, her final age was surpassed by Orpha Nusbaum (1875–1988), who became the new recordholder for the state of Indiana.

Her age was verified by Jimmy Lindberg, Daniel Gonik, and A.D. (anonymous), and validated by LongeviQuest on 8 October 2023. Based on the earliest available record, which is the 1870 census, it is possible that she was slightly older than claimed. The record indicates her age as 5 as of June 1870, but according to her claimed date of birth, she should have been 4 years and 5 months old at that time. It’s possible that her age was rounded up to 5, considering that the 1900 census record aligns with her claimed birthdate in December 1865.

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* Palladium-Item, 8 December 1962

* Palladium-Item, 10 December 1963

* Indianapolis Star, 17 December 1972

* Indianapolis Star, 15 April 1973

* Indianapolis Star, 2 February 1978