Paul Klein, a prominent business man of Iola, Kans., is a native of Illinois. He was born in St. Clair county, September 7, 1856, and is a son of Paul and Annie (Leibrock) Klein, natives of Prussia. They emigrated to America in 1848 and settled in St. Clair county, Illinois, being among the very first settlers of that section of the State. They were the parents of ten children. The father died in St. Clair county at the age of eighty-four, and the mother died in 1868. Paul Klein, whose name introduces this review, was educated in the public schools of St. Clair county and was twelve years old when his mother died, and after that had very little opportunity to attend school. Shortly after the death of his mother, he was apprenticed to learn the wheelwright trade and followed that occupation until he was about twenty years old. He then engaged in farming, rented land in St. Clair county, where he remained about nine years. In 1886 he came to Kansas, locating in Ness county, where he took a homestead. He followed farming and stock raising there for three years. This was early in the settlement of that section of the State, and he experienced real pioneer life on the unbroken plains. He lived in a sod house, and endured the many hardships incident to the life of the early settler. The nearest railroad was at Wakeeney, forty miles distant. This was their nearest trading point, and in 1889, when the Missouri Pacific Railroad was built further west. Mr. Klein was one of the first to locate at Utica, on the line of the new railroad. There was but one house in the town when he located there. He engaged in the hardware and implement business, which was the second commercial enterprise to locate there. The other was a grocery store. He also engaged in the lumber business, and had the first lumber yard in Utica, which he conducted in connection with his hardware store. During President Cleveland's first administration, he served four years as postmaster at Utica. In 1903 he disposed of his interests in Ness county, and removed to Iola, Kans., and purchased the lumber business of A. L. Taylor, which he has since conducted. Mr. Klein is interested in various other enterprises in addition to his lumber business. He was one of the organizers of the Iola State Bank, and is interested in the Horton Concrete Company, of Kansas City, Mo. He is a Democrat and has taken an active part in both local and State politics. He served on the city council of Iola for five years, resigning to accept the office of county commissioner from the Third District of Allen county, and served two years in that capacity. In 1912 he was elected state senator from the Fourteenth District and was active and influential in the 1913 session of the legislature. He introduced ten bills in the Senate, seven of which became laws. He served as chairman of the committee on Roads and Bridges and was a member of the committees on Banks and Banking, Education and Educational institutions, Cities, second and third class, Elections, Military Affairs, Mines and Mining, Oil and Gas. He is prominent in the councils of his party, and has been a delegate to three State conventions and has attended two national Democratic conventions as an alternate delegate. He was at the Baltimore convention of 1912. Mr. Klein was married October 20, 1880, to Miss Katy Rhinehart, a native of St. Clair county, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Klein have been born three children, one boy who died in infancy; Cora, a graduate of Washburn College, married C. A. Boyd, of Edwards county, Kansas, and Edna, now a student of Hardin College, Mexico, Mo., and a member of the class of 1915. The Klein family are members of the Presbyterian church, of which Mr. Klein is a member of the board of trustees. He is a Thirty-Second degree Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.Pages 144-145 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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