Helen Jackson
Helen Jackson
Birth: 3 August 1919
Webster County, Missouri, USA
Death: 16 December 2020
Marshfield, Missouri, USA
Age: 101 years, 135 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Helen Viola Jackson (3 August 1919 – 16 December 2020) was an American centenarian who was the last publicly known surviving widow of a Civil War veteran.


Helen Jackson was born in Webster County, Missouri, USA on 3 August 1919. Her parents were James Washington Jackson (1879–1972) and Thursa Shelby Jackson (1883–1953). She was raised in a family of ten children outside of Niangua, Missouri on the Jackson family farm. She went to Niangua School through 8th grade. She received an honorary high school diploma from Niangua High School Class of 1937 at the 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival. In 1936, her father volunteered Jackson to help Civil War veteran James Bolin (1843–1939) with household chores he was no longer capable of fulfilling. With no way to repay her kindness, Bolin offered to marry Jackson so she could receive his pension. She married James Bolin in 1936, when she was 17 years and he was 93 years. Bolin died aged 96 in 1939.

Jackson kept the marriage a secret until she was preparing for her own funeral in 2017, while looking through the family bible. Her pastor understood the significance of the marriage and recommended her to reveal the marriage publicly, Maudie Hopkins who died in 2008 was previously believed to be the last widow.

Helen Jackson died in Marshfield, Missouri, USA on 16 December 2020 at the age of 101 years, 135 days. She was survived by several nieces and nephews.


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