Mr. and Mrs. Anton Koenig lived in Casselton for 38 years

The oldest man and the oldest married couple in Cass county, if not in the entire state of North Dakota, are inmates of the county hospital and home at Fargo. Mr. and Mrs. Anton Koenig, the former one hundred and six years old and the latter ninety-six years old, are from Casselton, Cass county. Mrs. Koenig arrived at the hospital about four weeks ago, and her husband, Anton, came about two weeks ago.

For thirty-eight years they have been supported by the county poor authorities at Casselton.

They absolutely refused to become inmates of the county home for some time, but after much persuasion Mrs. Koenig was prevailed upon to try the home, and Anton, the husband, said he would go if his wife liked the place.

After she had been there for some days he called to see her and her story of the treatment she received. He promised the superintendent, Del. Hodgson, that he would return, and sure enough he did. The two are hale and hearty, and, strange to say, each retain their mental faculties to a remarkable degree. Mrs. Koenig is frail, but is enjoying good health, was happy and contented and said she enjoyed life, while Anton was grumbling a little over a cold he had caught within the past few days.

The two came to the United States from Luxenburg, a province in Germany, but at his birth 106 years ago it was a principality. They were each born in the province and were married across the waters. They came to [America] in 1844, and Mr. Koenig was very proud when he said he had voted for Lincoln, for he had taken out his naturalization papers shortly after coming here.

After leaving his home country he went to France and while there was in employ of King Louis Philip, serving in the latter's army, and the old fellow's eye flashed as he told of some of the battles he was in. He first resided in Illinois in the United States, but as stated above, went to North Dakota about forty years ago and for a time he and his wife managed a little store at Casselton.

Old age crept on apace and misfortune hit them sore. They were respected citizens of Casselton, and the people there did all they could to help them, but the inevitable came, for they had no children and the authorities thought it was best for them to be taken to Fargo to the county hospital, and this was done. Mr. Koenig speaks broken English, but he managed to say "I am afraid that I am going to live forever," and at that Mrs. Koenig ejaculated, "Yes, the old man is too old." A more contented, happy couple never entered the hospital home, and everything that Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson can do for them is being done.

Source: Crookston Times, Saturday, September 25, 1909

Submitted by Brenda G. June 2001
Updated 21 APR 2015, K .Kittleson