Gerontology Wiki
Erna Zahn
Erna Zahn
Zahn on her 113th birthday in 2021
Birth: 14 April 1908
Wisconsin, USA
Age: 113 years, 287 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Erna Zahn (née Miller; born 14 April 1908) is an American supercentenarian who is the oldest known person living in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Her age was validated by the Gerontology Research Group on 8 January 2022.


Erna Zahn was born in Winnebago County, Wisconsin on 14 April 1908 to Henry and Olga (née Kloehn) Miller. She had one older brother, Herbert and two younger sisters, Adeline and Marjorie. As a young girl, she enjoyed horseback riding, often on Sunday afternoons, and sewing and swimming. Some of her favorite historical moments she’s had include riding in the rumble seat of a car from home to Mount Rushmore, while it was still under construction. She married Meilahn Zahn in 1935. He was head of the Martin Luther College music department from 1962 to 1975. The couple had six children, four sons and two daughters. Her husband died in 1982.

Longevity runs in her family: her mother died at the age of 95 and both her sisters died at the age of 97.

Zahn currently lives at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm, Minnesota. She became the oldest known person living in Minnesota following the death of 112 year-old Evelyn Kleine on 7 December 2019. On 13 June 2021, at the age of 113 years, 60 days, Zahn surpassed the age of Bertha Harris to become the oldest person born in the state of Wisconsin.