Gerontology Wiki
Orpha Nusbaum
Orpha Nusbaum
Birth: 13 August 1875
Middlehart, Elkhart, Indiana, USA
Death: 30 March 1988
Goshen, Indiana, USA
Age: 112 years, 230 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Orpha Mischier Nusbaum (née Ulery; 13 August 1875 – 30 March 1988) was a validated American supercentenarian.


Nusbaum was born on a farm in Middlehart, Elkhart County, Middlehart, Indiana. She married a minister named John Mischier in 1897. When he died, she remarried in 1947, this his time to Frank Nusbaum. She became a widow in 1959. She worked as a Sunday school teacher and enjoyed writing poetry. She moved to a nursing home in 1982.

At the time of her 112th birthday, Nusbaum credited her longevity to ”honoring her parents”. The director of her nursing home stated that her health had been good, and that she mostly stays in bed all day. She was using a wheelchair at the age of 112. She had trouble understanding several questions asked to her, but could recall events of the past.

Nusbaum died in Goshen, Indiana on 30 March 1988, at the final age of 112 years, 230 days. The official cause of death wasn’t disclosed but she suffered from pneumonia shortly before her death. Her daughter-in-law implied that Orpha had lost her will to continue living.

Upon the death of Florence Knapp on 11 January 1988, Nusbaum was listed as the oldest living person, followed by Elzona Maxey and then Birdie May Vogt. However, Jeanne Calment was found to be older, meaning Nusbaum, Maxey, and Vogt never held the title of the oldest living person.


United States' Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Clarida RoyMary BittlebrunSophia DeMuthFannie ThomasNellie Spencer • Emma Wilson • Mathew Beard • Augusta Holtz • Mary McKinney • Florence Knapp • Orpha NusbaumElzona MaxeyAlphaeus Philemon ColeBirdie May VogtEttie Mae GreeneMargaret SkeeteWilhelmina Kott • Sarah Knauss • Myrtle Dorsey • Maud Farris-LuseGrace Clawson • Adelina Domingues • Mae Harrington • Mary Christian • Elena Slough • Charlotte Benkner • Emma Verona Johnston • Elizabeth Bolden • Emma TillmanCorinne Dixon Taylor • Edna Parker • Gertrude Baines • Mary Josephine Ray • Neva Morris • Eunice Sanborn • Besse Cooper • Dina Manfredini • Gertrude Weaver • Jeralean Talley • Susannah Mushatt Jones • Goldie Michelson • Adele DunlapDelphine GibsonLessie BrownAlelia MurphyHester FordThelma SutcliffeBessie Hendricks