THIS 4-YEAR-OLD BOY READS PAPERS AND BOOKS. ~ Roland Rexroth Is Self-Taught -- At 2 Years Old He Was Not Even Able to Speak a Word.

August 21, 1908

Roland Rexroth Is Self-Taught -- At
2 Years Old He Was Not Even
Able to Speak a Word.
Roland Rexroth, 4-Year-Old Child with Phenomenal Intelligence.
Picture and Signature of 4-Year-Old Boy
Who Reads with Remarkable

Almost phenomenal in his brightness is little 4-year-old Roland Rexroth, of 613 Troup avenue, Kansas City, Kas. Despite his years Roland is able to read as well as the average grown person. Newspapers are his particular hobby and he takes delight in reading them to his parents every morning and evening. What is more, he can understand what he reads and often entertains his neighbors and grown friends with discussions of matters which are of current interest.

The fact that he was unable to speak one word until two years ago makes his strange ability to read more remarkable.

About eight months ago, Roland, who had seen a bunch of A, B, C blocks, went to one of his friends, John H. Finlay, and asked him for a set of blocks. Having taken taken an interest in the child since his birth, Mr. Finlay immediately procured the blocks. That was on Tuesday. The following Sunday Mr. Finlay visited the child and found that he had mastered the mysteries of the A, B, C. Without being urged to do so, Roland asked for a primer. Within one week he could read every word contained in the book. Since that time he has rapidly advanced in his ability to read and now is able to read any kind of fiction, even newspapers, understandingly.

Roland is at his best when lying flat upon the floor. For hours he will lie in that position and read.

Wholly unaided, the child learned to write. His writing is nothing more than printing, following out the lines of the letters with which he so readily became familiar, but it is clearly legible. Roland prefers writing on a typewriter, and while he has not much speed developed in that line, his work is without error so far as spelling and punctuation are concerned. How the child learned to punctuate can not be explained.

Roland's parents are poor; too poor to secure books for him to read, and the child longs for books. His neighbors kindly furnish him with newspapers and a few books, but Mr. Finlay has helped the child forward more than anyone else. William Rexroth, the boy's father, is a mechanic. Neither he nor his wife has had more than a grammar school education, and they speak with a German accent.

While Roland shows such remarkable ability to read, he knows nothing about mathematics. It seems strange that the child is able to form letters into words and words into sentences and at the same time be unable to add figures into totals.

A particularly attractive looking child is Roland. He has dark blue eyes, shaded by extremely heavy brows. His face shows much intellect and no mean amount of will power. His features are all clear cut and attractive, but standing out from the rest of his features are his eyes and heavy brows.