February 29, 1892: Helpless from Birth, at 45, Jefferson Krause Dies


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

February 29, 1892: Helpless from birth, living 45 years in a cradle, Jefferson Krause, who resided with his family on Philadelphia Avenue, has died. Born blind and a deaf mute, Jeff had to be fed and nursed like a baby. He was never able to walk or talk, or even sit up. His family, who was poor, kept his existence a secret as much as possible, and very few people ever knew of this man-child although he received the most devoted care from his parents, two sisters, and a brother, all of whom have full mental faculties.

When desiring attention, Jefferson grunted and showed signs of restlessness, rocking himself and rolling his head from side to side. He grew to a height of four feet, four inches and weighed 90 pounds at the time of his death. He was described as having a fine head of black hair, a moustache and goatee, and fair facial features.

Although totally powerless, he never required much medical attention until he got sick two weeks ago and Dr. Thomas J.B. Rhoads treated him for pneumonia. Funeral and internment will be at Huber’s Church, Montgomery County.

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