Article Description:A Centenarian. An Extraordinary Story Concerning an Interesting Individual.
The St. Louis Republican of Friday makes a strong demand on credulity by telling the following story: "In a little row of dilapidated brick dwelling-houses situated on the south side of Pine street between Second and Third streets, Carondelet, dwells one Frederick WERNEKE, who, as he says, and as far as any one knows, was 101 years of age the 4th day of the present month.Mr. WERNEKE was born on the 4th day of January, 1775, in the little village of Harlinger, on the River Oder, in Prussia, and according to his statement he was just 1 year and 6 months old at the time of the Declaration of Independence.In appearance he is a remarkably well-preserved centenarian.He is about 5 feet 5 inches in height, stoutly built, and weighs about 125 pounds.His form is still very erect, and considering his age he is now as active as the majority of men at 50.As an illustration of his suppleness, the old man yesterday morning, in order to show his activity, performed the feat of standing on his head in the middle of the room, and dangling his feet in the air, with the greatest appar! ent ease.His eyesight and hearing are remarkably good, he having never in his life used eye-glasses or compelled one to talk louder than in an ordinary conversation for him to understand.His habits now, as well as during the earlier part of his prolonged existence, are very regular.He retires very early, and when the weather will permit he arises very early and takes a long walk about town.Mr. WERNEKE, who is now married to his second wife, is the father of fifteen children, and eight are still living.He was first married in the native country, at the age of 15, and had by his first wife seven children, two of whom are still living on a farm about one mile and a half from Frederickstown, Mo., and a daughter about 60 years of age, living in California.This son and daughter have each reared large families.Mr. WERNEKE emigrated to this country about the year 1836.He first settled in Frederickston, Mo., where he lived until a few years ago, when he moved to this! city.He was married to his second wife, who is still living, at the age of 81, or in the year 1856.To the second wife, who is now in her 61st year, eight children were born, six of whom are now living, the eldest being 18 and the youngest 10 years of age.The old man, with the assistance of his next to the oldest son as his business partner--who died about three months ago at the age of 74--by economy and energy succeeded, while they lived in Frederickstown, in amassing quite a little fortune.The father and son kept a store, and also ran a farm situated in the outskirts of the above mentioned village, but between the two armies during the late war their business was broken up and the father and son rendered bankrupts.Mr. WERNEKE is now living in moderate but comfortable circumstances.The two eldest of the second generation of children are supporting the family.About the only desire the old man has left is to attend the Centennial or pay a visit to his daughter in California before he dies."