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MANNHARDT, Charles Henry 1873 - 1981


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 7/13/2011 at 15:41:45

"The Fairfield Ledger"
Monday, December 21, 1981

MANNHARDT, Iowa's oldest man, dies

C.H. (Henry) MANNHARDT of Fairfield, who at 108 was Iowa's oldest living man, died at 10:30 a.m. today at Jefferson County Hospital.

Funeral services had not been scheduled late this morning.

MANNHARDT celebrated his most recent birthday Dec. 1 at the Fairfield nursing home. Among MANNHARDT's survivors is his daughter, Osie, with whom he resided at Parkview Care Center.

MANNHARDT was born on a farm near the northeastern Jefferson County town of Germanville on Dec. 1, 1873.

He worked as a township assessor, storekeeper, assistant postmaster and sawmill laborer, but his first love was farming. He worked as a farmhand, farmer and horsebreeder from the age of nine in 1882 until he retired in 1949, becoming custodian at Fairfield's First Lutheran Church and doing gardening work for neighbors.

Other survivors include a great-great-nephew, Gene, of Davenport. Henry and Gene MANNHARDT met for the first time last month.

MANNHARDT, who was hospitalized Saturday, was at least partially active until his death. He hand-shelled ear corn on his 108th birthday for a nursing home project, and until recently had participated in morning exercises at the nursing home. He enjoyed morning coffees there and attended Lutheran communion services monthly.

His 108th birthday party was attended by some 20 friends and well-wishers.

MANNHARDT danced a jig on his 90th birthday and drove himself to a reception in his honor on his 100th birthday in 1973.

He attributed his longevity to working hard, eating light, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco and never getting too excited.

Although his advanced age attracted reporters as the years passed, MANNHARDT wasn't much impressed by his long life.

Reminded this year that he was Iowa's oldest living man, he said, "Oh, yeah, that's what they say."

MANNHARDT was proud of his driving record. He bought his first Ford in 1912 and never had an accident with any of his five automobiles.

He was married Nov. 9, 1898 to Emma SCHMADAKA, who died in 1962. Osie MANNHARDT is the couple's only child.

MANNHARDT never got much formal education because he had to go to work to support his mother and sister, Magdalena, when his father, a German immigrant, died in 1882. Nonetheless, he held several jobs which required more than just a strong back. He was especially proud of having completed a horsebreeding course in Kansas City.

Technology ended the best years for horsebreeding, however, and MANNHARDT changed with the times. He purchased his first tractor in 1942 -- at the age of 75.

Copied with permission from The Fairfield Ledger, Inc.
*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I have no relation to the person(s) mentioned.

Note: He, wife Emma, and daughter Osie are buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Fairfield, Lot 3rd.008.


Jefferson Obituaries maintained by Joey Stark.
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