Sunday, February 1, 2009

John Klepper of Shelby County, TN

One of the many German citizens who have cast their lot in Shelby county and thereby have not only benefited themselves, but the general public as well, is John Klepper, a pioneer citizen of Westphalia township. He has always been an honorable, upright, industrious, temperate and economical man in every way, and his exemplary conduct has gained for him the esteem of his fellow citizens. He has performed well his part as a part of the body politic, and no one questions his standing as one of the leading farmers and worthy citizens of the township. John Klepper, the son of Christian and Margaret (Manger) Klepper, was born in Luxemburg, Germany, January 1, 1844. Christian Klepper traveled throughout Germany, buying coal and wood for large factories, and followed this business all his life. Christian and Margaret Klepper were the parents of eight children, all of whom are now deceased except John, Annie, Lena and Anthony. These children in the order of their birth are as follows: Michael, Lena, Anthony, Margaret, John, Annie and two who died in infancy. John Klepper received his education in the schools of Luxemburg, Ger- many, and after leaving school, worked upon his father's farm until he was twenty years old. He then went to France and worked on different farms in that country for six years. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, he returned to his native land, and he continued to work in Germany at different occupations until 1877, when he finally decided to come to the United States and invest in farming lands in Iowa, where many of his countrymen had already settled. Upon coming to this country he located in Clinton county, but a year later settled in Westphalia township, where he purchased a farm of eighty acres. He succeeded beyond his fondest hopes, whereas if he had remained in Germany he would have missed the golden harvest which has attended his efforts in this county. Today, he is the proud owner of four hundred and forty acres of fine farming land and each year he sends to the market four car loads of cattle and from two to four hundred head of hogs. In 1914, he put out two hundred acres of corn, and one hun- died and forty acres of oats. Mr. Klepper was married January 25, 1880, to Susan Altman, the daugh- ter of Mr. and Mrs. John Altman, and to this union have been born ten chil- dren, Benjamin, John, Michael, Nicholas, Joseph, Peter, Frank, Alexander, Anna, and Mary. Anna married John Schmitz, and has four children, Alvin, Alphonso, Alex and Cyril. The rest of the children are unmarried and still living with their parents. Mrs. Klepper's parents were natives of Germany and early settlers in this county, where they lived until their death. John Altman and wife were the parents of seven children: Susan, the wife of the immediate subject of this review; Justine, Annie, Susan, John, Nicholas and Lena. The Democratic party claims the support of Mr. Klepper and, although interested in good government, he has never been an aspirant for public office, or taken an active part in political matters. He and his family are members of the Catholic church, and he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Klepper is a fine type of the self-made man.

* 1915 Past and Present of Shelby County, Iowa, pp. 1285 - 1286 Contributed by: Marthann Kohl-Fuhs

No comments: