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Sarah Gardner

Jimmy Lindberg
Validated By: Jimmy Lindberg On Date: Feb. 03rd 2024

Sarah Ellen Gardner (née Stone) was an American supercentenarian whose age has been validated by LongeviQuest.


Gardner was born in Wabash, Wabash County, Indiana, USA, on 11 August 1876, to parents Tilghman Howard Stone (1841–1927) and Zada Elizabeth Hutton (1850–1931). She had at least nine siblings. Her father was a postmaster. In 1882, her father brought his family, along with the lumber needed to construct their new house, from Wabash to St. Lawrence, South Dakota by train. They traveled by horse and carriage to Burdette, their soon-to-be home. As an elderly woman, she recalled how they battled a prairie fire just a few years after their arrival.

On 22 March 1898, she married James A. Gardner (1869–1944), a native of Ontario, Canada. They lived on a homestead near Tulare for 47 years. They had eight children, including Verda Mae Gardner (1900–1921), Clifford Gardner (1904–2000), Vivian Sugrue (1906–2002), Clayton Gardner (1910–1988), Burniece Boeke (1914–1987), and Neoma Myrtle (1917–2007).

As of her 110th birthday, she was speaking little, and her hearing was failing. It was also reported that her 80-year-old daughter was “remembering for her” at the time. She was a member of the First Christian Church.

Gardner passed away in Covington Heights Nursing Home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, on 3 September 1986, at the age of 110 years, 23 days. She was survived by five children, six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

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In August 1986, she celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming the first documented supercentenarian in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Consequently, at the time of her passing, she held the record as the oldest known person to ever die in the state. It was not until almost nine years later that another person, Mary Arp (1885–1998), achieved supercentenarian status in the state. Arp eventually surpassed Gardner’s final age on 27 July 1995, becoming the new longevity record holder for the state of South Dakota.

Her age was verified by Jimmy Lindberg, and validated by LongeviQuest on 3 February 2024.

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* “Woman celebrates 11 decades” – Argus Leader, 12 August 1986

* “Sarah Gardner” – Argus Leader, 5 September 1986

* Sarah Ellen “Sadie” Stone Gardner – Find A Grave