Herman Klaumann, who for a number of years has been a prominent factor in the commercial life of Iola, Kans., is a native of Germany. He was born in Rhineprice, Prussia, May 31, 1851, and is a son of John and Henrietta Klaumann, natives of Prussia. The father was a locksmith, and was employed by the Krupp Gun Factory, where he had charge of a department. In the spring of 1857, the family immigrated to America and settled at Muscatine, Iowa. The mother died August 3, 1857, a few months after reaching this country. After coming to this country the family met with many discouragements. The father was employed in a packing house and a saw mill for a time, at the meager wages of fifty cents per day. He struggled along for a few years, when he engaged in farming in Muscatine county and met with fair success. Herman Klaumann attended the public, schools until he was twelve years old, when he went to Chicago alone, and his entire capital consisted of thirty-five cents. He secured employment there, in a grocery store where he remained four years when a wholesale grocer, with whom he had become acquainted, furnished him a stock of goods, and he engaged in the grocery business on his own account, and for five years followed that business in Chicago. He was there during the great fire of 1871, and lived within two blocks from where it started. In 1879, Mr. Klaumann came to Kansas, and settled at Iola where he engaged in the grocery business. His store was located on the Northwest corner of Madison and Washington streets, in a frame building 20x40 feet. In 1881, he built a two story brick building at the corner, where the Iola State Bank now stands, and in 1884, he added an annex to this building, which was also occupied by his grocery business. His retail business grew to large proportions and he added a wholesale and jobbing department. On May 23, 1899, he sold the business to his brother-in-law, H. W. Steyer, who is still engaged in the business. Mr. Klaumann then engaged in the wholesale produce business, as a member of the firm of Bixby & Klaumann. This continued until 1901, when he disposed of his interest, when he engaged in the real estate and insurance business, to which he has largely devoted his attention since. When the Iola State Bank was organized, he was one of the charter stock holders, and later bought a large block of stock in the Gas City State Bank and became its president. This institution later liquidated its accounts and closed its business with a clean slate. Mr. Klaumann has taken an active interest in many local enterprises, and is ever ready and willing to contribute his time and money to the betterment of his town and county. When the Allen County Agricultural Society was organized, he was one of the first to lend his aid and influence to the project, and has been a director of that organization for years, and for fourteen years has been superintendent of the Agricultural Building. He was one of the organizers of the Allen County Horticultural Society, and has served as its president several terms, during its thirty years of existence. Mr. Klaumann was married July 1, 1875, to Miss Fredericka, a daughter of Conrad Steyer, a native of Germany, who immigrated to America and settled at New London, Conn., where Mrs. Klaumann was born. The father was a cabinet maker, and the family removed to Chicago at an early day, and Mrs. Klaumann was reared and educated in that city. To Mr. and Mrs. Klaumann have been born four children: Clara, graduated from the Iola High School, Kansas University, taught in the Iola High School a short time, and is now the wife of Prof. James W. Murphy, superintendent of schools, Washington, Kans.; Louis H., educated in the Iola High School and business college, now cashier of the Farmers' Supply Company, Arcadia, Fla.; Chas. H., a graduate of the Iola High School and Kansas University, now an instructor in the Salina High School, and Edward, deceased. Mr. Klaumann is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and has filled all the chairs of that order. He is also a member of the Knights and Ladies of Security, of which he has been financial secretary for a number of years. The family are members of Christ Reformed church.Pages 257-258 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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