Biography of Loren M. Klepper
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





LOREN M. KLEPPER. - The proprietor of the Eureka Marble and Granite Works, who has been a resident of California since the early '90s and of Eureka since 1901, was born in Chicago, Ill., February 28, 1858, and learned the trade of a marble and granite worker in Minnesota, where and in Iowa he followed the occupation for a considerable number of years, first as a worker by the day and then as a foreman. For some time Stillwater, Minn., was his home and occupative headquarters. Upon coming to California he was put in charge of the Colton marble works in the city of Colton, where he remained for a number of years, meanwhile filling contracts of importance that carried him to different parts of the state. The marble work in the Academy of Science building, San Francisco, which cost $25,000 and was the finest work of the kind done there up to that time, represented his intelligent supervision in filling a contract for his company.

Subsequent to a period of identification with the Western granite works at San Jose, in 1901 Mr. Klepper came to Eureka and bought one half interest with John O'Neil in the Eureka works. At the expiration of six years he purchased the interest of his partner and is now the sole owner. On his removal to Eureka he brought with him his family, consisting of his wife, formerly Mary M. Merrick and a native of Indiana; also their three children, namely: Mabel, now the wife of W. E. Peacock; Winfred M., now a student in the University of California; and Hazel, a student in the Eureka high school. Since coming to this city Mr. Klepper, has been active in all local movements of importance and has the honor of being one of the organizers of the Eureka Board of Trade. His fraternities are the Elks, the Woodmen of the World and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The marble and granite yards, located at the intersection of Fifth and Myrtle avenue, Eureka, represent one of the most complete works of the kind on the coast. Originally established by John O'Neil in 1884 and by him conducted alone until 1901, in the latter year Loren M. Klepper bought an interest in the concern and eventually became the sole proprietor. At that time the plant was located near the present site of the Times office, but Mr. Klepper removed to his present place of business and erected a plant with a floor space of 40x130 feet, equipped with the latest approved and most modern stone working machinery. The dressing and the carving of the stone are done with pneumatic tools operated by compressed air. The plant has the capacity to handle the largest and most complex work, such as is necessary in the building of mausoleums, a line of work in which Mr. Klepper has been very successful. Seven attractive and dignified structures of this kind have been erected by him in local cemeteries. His designs are original and his work expresses the dignity and simplicity nowhere so appropriate as in the City of the Dead. The reputation of the proprietor has brought him correspondence from all parts of the state and he makes shipments to various sections of the coast, filling orders for monuments, tombstones, markers, tablets, curbing and all kinds of cemetery work in foreign and domestic marble or granite. With the exception of the dairy products of Humboldt county, its lumber and shingles, and certain novelties wrought from the redwood burl, it is doubtful if any manufactured local product reaches out into such distant markets as the products of the Eureka Marble and Granite Works.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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