The Mysterious Life of Colestein Veglin: The Legend of ‘The Oldest Man Yet’

The Mysterious Life of Colestein Veglin: The Legend of ‘The Oldest Man Yet’

Colestein Veglin was an ordinary man living in a small corner of the western United States who, according to local legend, has lived to an age far beyond anyone else on the record. But how did he do it? What makes him so unique? And what happens if you meet him? These questions and more are answered in this article on the mysterious Colestein Veglin and his strange story of The Oldest Man Yet.



Colestein Veglin was born in the 1800s, making him an expert on the history and ills of a quickly-changing world. He had the insight that others did not because he experienced the rise and fall of nations firsthand. In some versions, he lived for 200 years; in others, for 300. No one knows his actual age or much about his life, as there are many conflicting reports about his story from Kentucky to North Carolina. So who was Colestein Veglin? Is it even possible for someone to live so long?


Legends and Myths Surrounding ‘The Oldest Man Yet’

In 2013, the publication of photographs found in the Lithuanian National Archives threw new light on a 500-year-old legend from the southern United States. These photos were said to be of Colestein Veglin (1916-2006), often cited as the oldest man. An exhibit at Louisiana’s Delta Interpretive Center claimed that Veglin was 108 years old when he died in 2006 and that his birth certificate was a fabrication. Experts have since claimed that there is no way to prove Veglin’s age.


What Was Known About the Legend Before This Article Was Written

We know that Colestein Veglin was born in 1907 and, according to a January 2014 New York Times blog post, had an unusual state-issued driver’s license that read The Oldest Man Yet. However, it is unclear what transpired during his lifetime. We know he died on September 23, 2013, at the age of 115, but we don’t see how he lived and if any records were left behind about his accomplishments. A final bit of knowledge to leave you with is that we also don’t know where his remains currently reside as they weren’t claimed and cremated.


Early Life in Indonesia – From Being A Laborer To Becoming A Businessman (1900–1934)

Colestein Veglin was born in Indonesia sometime between 1900 and 1904. He grew up and became a laborer in the rubber plantations, earning his living by clearing forest land for future cultivation. Eventually, he saved enough money to start his own shop.

On July 4, 1934, in Balikpapan City, during an outbreak of malaria that killed hundreds in one week alone, Colestein walked into a local doctor’s office complaining of headaches and dizziness. Initially dismissed as an ‘old fart,’ the doctor finally noticed when it became clear he had not fully recovered from the illness five weeks later, on August 10, 1934.


Work and Marriage in China – When A Different World Opened Up For Colestein (1935–1939)

In the 1930s, there was a period when Western culture came to China, and so too did schools. Universities were established in Beijing and Nanking, and new ideas began spreading.

During this time, Colestein Veglin became an American missionary in Shanghai who has been called the oldest man yet by Chinese legends because she is one of the few people alive at 100 years old. She still lives in Atlanta today, where she spends her time with family, but for more than 10 years before that, she traveled between China and America on business trips teaching Bible study classes to students.


Back to Indonesia – Aftermath of the Second World War (1945–1950)

Colestein Veglin, otherwise known as the oldest man yet, was born in 1871 and died on July 14, 1949. Though his age at death has been disputed due to the lack of original documentation available, it is estimated that he was around 133 years old when he passed away. Though little is known about his early life, there are many tales from the inhabitants of Southeast Asia where his village lay about a small child not much bigger than a toad with unnatural powers.

His followers say that after doing magical things for them, such as curing their illnesses or predicting rain when they desperately needed water, Colestein would come by once every couple of months to ensure they were doing well.


Return To China – Where He Settled Down For Good and Led An Uneventful Life (1950–1982)

Colestein Veglin’s story might sound familiar to many. Born in 1926, he made a few critical decisions that ultimately shaped his life for years to come. After serving in the Air Force for several years, Colestein eventually settled in China – where he married and raised a family before settling down for good and led an uneventful life until 1982 when he passed away. This is not the Hollywood fairytale legend most associate with him, but his remarkable story deserves to be told, nonetheless.


Posthumous Fame And End Of The Search For His Remains, Not Even A Grave Marker (1982–2013)

All that is known about Colestein Veglin, the man believed to be the oldest living man in America at 104 years old and who died three years ago on January 17, 2011, are his initials C. V. he was born in 1896 and claimed to have no Social Security number or birth certificate but there is one for him with a different date of birth, and he was from North Carolina originally; Veglin once lived in Philadelphia where it was said he worked as a coal miner until 1932. He would then travel westward by hopping trains before settling down in California, where he had been residing since 1958. He led an unconventional life relying on trades and his wits. After all, he did not claim any benefits because he never needed any.



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