Gerontology Wiki
Gerontology Wiki
Sylvester Melvin
Sylvester Melvin
Sylvester Melvin in July 1958.
Birth: 29 November 1851
Rubicon Township, Greene County, Illinois
Death: 12 March 1962
Age: 110 years, 103 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Sylvester Melvin (29 November 1851 – 12 March 1962) was a validated American supercentenarian.


He was born in a farm in Rubicon Township, Greene County, Illinois, to parents Thomas and Elizabeth Melvin. He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University. In 1880, he married Addie Strickland. The couple had four children in total. One of them, Leon, died in 1920. In 1900, he started working as a secretary of the Greene County Mutual Fire Insurance Company. At age 107, he was still working for the same company. He also had a cattle firm called ”Sylvester Melvin and Sons”.

As a centenarian, he was capable of raking leaves in his garden. He could remember the American Civil War that began in 1861. His wife Addie died in 1953/1954. On his 109th birthday, the mayor declared it the ”Sylvester Melvin Day”. Businesses were closed for half an hour to his honour. He was reported to have poor eyesight. He lived with one of his daughers. His secret to longevity was ”just keep from dying”. On the occasion of his 110th birthday, he was hospitalized for a minor intestinal disorder.

Melvin died on 12 March 1962, at the age of 110 years, 103 years.