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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oldest Person From New Gretna- Part 2

(See Sunday, November 30, 2008 for Part 1)

Yesterday morning I dropped by to visit with Ben and Elaine Allen. They mentioned that their son, Mike from down south in Alabama, told them about the oldest living person born in New Gretna posting on the blog, and they offered their opinion to me. I believe it is a winner. Thank you Ben and Elaine!

Remember, I had mentioned that Renard Wiseman, the oldest resident living in New Gretna had recently passed away at age 94? Well, it seems that good longevity genes run in the family. Renard had two brothers who predeceased him (Robert and John), but he also had three sisters (Ethel, Myrtle, and Catherine) who are living. Ethel Wiseman Sprague, the eldest of the Wiseman sisters, was born February 7, 1910. That would make her 98 years old and the oldest living person born in New Gretna. She is currently living at Seacrest Village Nursing Home in Little Egg Harbor.

If you are interested in reading more about the Wiseman family, Renard and Myrtle had written an article about their family in Issue #12 of "The Bass River Gazette (June 2002). You can view it, on page 3, here . . . .

Ethel Wiseman Sprague (r) and her youger sister, Myrtle.
(Photo courtesy of Myrtle Wiseman Falkinburg.)

The Wiseman family, in 1922, in front of the old Knights of Pythias Hall on Rt. 9 in New Gretna. (l-r)- Renard, Ethel, Olive, and John holding baby Myrtle. (Photo courtesy of Myrtle Wiseman Falkinburg.)

John and Olive Wiseman, circa 1907,  Ethel's parents.
They sure don't make hats like they used to!
(Photo courtesy of Myrtle Wiseman Falkinburg.)

The  second oldest living person born in New Gretna would be Ethel Cramer Archer Upton, the eldest daughter of Doughty and Alberta Cramer who lived on North Maple Avenue with her brother Prston and sisters Minerva, Margaret, and Almira. Rickie Steele, who currently lives on North Maple Avenue, is her nephew. Ethel, who now lives in Florida, was born February 27, 1911. That would make her almost exactly a year younger than Ethel Wiseman Sprague. 

Ethel Cramer Archer Upton
(Photo courtesy of Margaret Cramer McAnney.)

Baby Ethel Cramer
(Photo courtesy of Margaret Cramer McAnney.)

Bennie Allen, age 91 this December 10th, is still the oldest person born in New Gretna who is still living in New Gretna.

Ben and Elaine Allen
(Photo courtesy of Ben & Elaine Allen.)


  1. At a "
    friendly Seniors" meeting today (Januay 9th), we were treated to a look at the Bass River history Blog as part of pwete's presentation. one of the selected p[osts was the Wiseman family, and linda M.remarked that Myrtle Wiseman Falkenburg's mother Myrtle's mother was dressed in the fashion of the day, and that's why she looked like one of Charles Dana Gibson's girls. Linda found some information about Gibson Girls, and shared it with me. I thought I would post it:

    "Charles Dana Gibson’s period of greatest popularity was between 1900 and 1910, although he was productive well into the 1920’s. His best-known subject was the proverbial ‘Gibson Girl’. She became known as an ideal image of youthful American femininity, the modern woman, athletic, smart, stylish, and desirable and she sold magazines. In fact, whole fashion lines were started when Gibson placed a ribbon on her forehead or a certain style dress on her tall statuesque figure. While the nation was craving its own styles of architecture and searching for an American identity on the world scene, it also searched for idealizations in art. ‘The Gibson Girl’ satisfied that need by captivating the imagination of the country and by providing a perfect image of femininity,uniquely American."
    So, New Gretna had its very own "Gibson Girl"
    Jackie Stemmer

  2. Love seeing all the history I have in New Gretna. When looking at these pictures its hard to believe thats where we started.. Hopefully the Wiseman gean is still as strong as my Aunt Ethel..
    Thank You,
    Aimee Welsh