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Meinhardt remembers the horse and buggy days

Photo by Rachelle Klemme. Carl Meinhardt (center) is surrounded by family, including sons Don Meinhardt of Cokato and Ray Meinhardt of Wadena, at his 103rd birthday party.

Born Jan. 7, 1909, Carl Meinhardt remembers the horse and buggy days of the rural Midwest.

The centenarian has lived in Wadena, close to son and daughter-in-law Ray and Cora Meinhardt, for about two years. Originally from Fargo and Gwinner, N.D., he now resides at Comfort Care Cottage where his 103rd birthday party was celebrated.

Carl beat pneumonia three times in recent years and has had both is knees replaced. His eyesight is good and he uses a hearing aid. He has outlived some friends, but others were able to make it to the party.

Living so long, his father took his vitamins and has always had good health, according to son Don Meinhardt.

At age 19, Carl helped

apprehend three bank robbers in North Dakota.

In 1932, he married his wife Lillie.

Carl's father was a welder, and Carl started out in the body shop business in Fargo before his father sold the shop.

Afterward, Carl worked as a farmer until retiring in 1965. He was one of the first farmers to have a combine.

Don said his father has always had Christian values and loved the Lord.

He also played violin, and four violinists were at his 100th birthday party in Minneapolis.

Gwinner is most well known for its Bobcat plant.

"Dad sold them the land that they built the plant on," Ray said.

Carl also has a 96-year-old sister, Maria Rubino, who sent a card from her home in California.