Gerontology Wiki
Mary Burton
Mary Burton
Burton in her later years.
Birth: 17 January 1894
Emondale, Mississippi, USA
Death: 30 December 2005
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA
Age: 111 years, 347 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Mary Frances Burton (née Smith; 17 January 1894? – 30 December 2005) was an American supercentenarian who was one of the oldest known people in Illinois when she died. Her case is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).


Mary Burton was born as Mary Frances Smith in Emondale, Mississippi, USA on 17 January 1894. She was the oldest of at least 5 children born to William "Mack" Smith and Florence Ella Smith. She married James Burton between 1910 and 1913 and had 3 children with him: Rosella "Rosie", Albert "AD", and James Leonard. Their daughter Rosie died in June 1989 at the age of 75.

Mary was an active member of Ebernezer Missionary Baptist Church for over 55 years. She was also a member of the Flower Circle, which sent flowers and cards to the sick. She enjoyed to sing and socialise with others after church. She also loved to talk on the telephone, watch television, and admire her garden. Her favourite hobby was eating. When asked what her secret to living a long life was, she replied with "Serve God, treat your fellow man right, and walk upright".

Burton died in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA on 30 December 2005 at the potential age of 111 years, 347 days. She was survived by her youngest son, James Leonard Burton, as well as 10 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, 30 great-great-grandchildren, and dozens of nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

Age Discrepancy

Mary Burton's 1900 census and SSDI say she was born in January 1894, whereas her obituary says she was born in May. As the 1900 census is closer to her birth, it is more likely she was born in January 1894.

Also, her SSDI says she died on 29 December 2005, while the obituary says she died on the 30th. As an obituary is usually more reliable than an SSDI, it is more likely that she died on 30 December 2005.