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Catherine Waller

Jimmy Lindberg
Validated By: Jimmy Lindberg On Date: Oct. 02nd 2023

Cathron ''Catherine'' Cornelia Waller (née Alexander) was an American supercentenarian whose age has been validated by LongeviQuest. At the time of death, she was the world's oldest known living person.


Waller was born in Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee, USA, on 1 December 1848. She grew up in East Tennessee, except during the Civil War, when she was attending school in Corinth, Mississippi. She had five siblings.

On 2 December 1875, at the age of 27, she married Dempsey Thomas Waller (1833–1890) in the old Peabody Hotel in Memphis, where Lowenstein House currently is. The couple had three daughters, including Luxora Waller (1879–1959). She named her daughter after a character from a book she greatly admired, titled “Pillar of Fire.” Before marriage, she resided close to Somerville. However, as her husband was a young business pioneer just across the border in Arkansas, they decided to relocate there. Her husband purchased a substantial piece of land a few miles north of Osceola and constructed a one-room dwelling that also served as a store near a boat landing. A couple of years later, when the settlement required a name, her husband proposed naming it after their daughter, Luxora. Her husband passed away in 1890

Waller remained an active gardener until she reached the age of 100. When asked about the secret of her longevity, she attributed it to a “combination of faith in mankind and hope for the future through memories of the past.”

Waller passed away in Luxora, Mississippi County, Arkansas, USA, on 4 January 1959, at the age of 110 years, 34 days.

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On 16 December 1956, following the death of 111-year-old Jennie Howell, she became the world’s oldest known living person, at the age of 108.

In December 1958, she celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming the first supercentenarian in the state of Arkansas, and the first supercentenarian who was born in the state of Tennessee. At the time, she was the only known living supercentenarian.

Following her death, Christina Karnebeek-Backs became the world’s oldest living person, and Robert Alexander Early likely became the oldest living person in the United States.

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* “Luxora Founder’s Widow, at 102, Believed County’s Oldest Resident” –The Courier News, 10 October 1950

* “And So Town Was Named Luxora” – The Memphis Press-Scimitar, 4 August 1951

* “Luxora’s Mrs. Waller May be State’s Oldest; She’s Now Past 108” –The Courier News, 28 January 1957

* “Mrs. Waller, True Pioneer, Dies at Age 110” – The Courier News, 5 January 1959