Griebeling, Bertha

Undated photograph of Miss Bertha Griebeling.
Newton’s oldest resident, Bertha Griebeling Graham, on her 102nd birthday. Source:


Miss Bertha Griebeling
Miss Bertha Griebeling was a member of the Newton Public Library board of trustees from 1901 to 1904.[1]  She was secretary of the board.[2]  Born in Newton on May 15, 1860, she was the daughter of Christian and Lena (Buhrmeister) Griebeling.[3]  She was graduated from Newton High School in 1878.[4]  On June 20, 1906, she was married to Francis Silas “Frank” Graham (1855-1937), “a prosperous farmer,” at her parents’ home in Newton.[5]  Mrs. Graham was a member of the First Lutheran Church where she taught a Sunday School class for 88 years (!).[6]  She was also a member of The Newton Daily News’ Three Quarter Century Club and the Golden Age Club.[7]  She was a charter member of the Skiff Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, was active in Women’s Missionary Society, and the Jasper County Sunday School Association.[8]  In observance of her 100th birthday anniversary Mrs. Graham was honored by the congregation of the First Lutheran Church.[9]  Graham Hall at the church is named for her.[10]  Newton’s oldest resident died at the Skiff Memorial Hospital in Newton on October 14, 1962, at the age of 102.[11]  Burial was in Newton Union Cemetery.[12]

-Larry Ray Hurto


[1] 1896-1957 Library Trustees, Newton Public Library History.

[2] The Newton Daily News, October 15, 1962.


[4] Newton Journal, June 20, 1878.

[5] The Newton Daily News, June 21, 1906; The Newton Herald, June 22, 1906; The Newton Journal, June 27, 1906.

[6] The Newton Daily News, October 15, 1962.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.  Miss Griebeling was secretary of the Jasper County Sunday School Association for a number of years.  The Newton Journal, June 27, 1906.

[9] The Newton Daily News, May 16, 1960.

[10] Ibid., October 15, 1962.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Jasper County Genealogical Society, comp., Jasper County, Iowa, Cemeteries:  Newton Union Cemetery, Blocks 4, 5, 6, and 7 (Des Moines:  Iowa Genealogical Society, 1994), p. 441.