Biography of Thomas Killian
Saunders County, NE Biographies





Thomas Killian, widely known and well liked, is proprietor of a department store at Yahoo and his business record is a commendable one, constituting a factor in the commercial development of his city and at the same time proving a source 'of individual success. He was born in Austria, in 1853, a son of Thomas and Katharine (Mares) Killian, who were also natives of Austria, whence they came to the new world in 1866, settling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1868 they removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, and homesteaded eighty acres of land, spending their remaining days in this county The father died in 1886, while the mother passed away in 1889.

Thomas Killian was a lad of thirteen years when the family left Europe and came to the United States. He remained with his parents until they came to Saunders county, at which time he stopped in Omaha, spending three years there, during which period he was engaged in the express business. He then went to North Bend, Nebraska, where he entered a general store, devoting three years to the trade. He also spent a similar period as clerk in a dry goods store in Fremont, Nebraska, and in December, 1876, he came to Wahoo as manager of a store, occupying that position for eight years. He was then admitted to a partnership and the business which had hitherto been conducted under the name of Henry Fuhrman was then continued under the firm style of Killian & Company. Seven years later a change in the ownership led to the adoption of the firm name of Killian Brothers, which is still retained. At first the firm was composed of Thomas and John Killian but later the three younger brothers were taken into partnership. Thomas Killian is today the only one connected with the enterprise, the other four brothers having retired and begun in business elsewhere. The eldest of these, John, was born in Austria but the other three, Albert, Edward and Amid Killian, were all born in the United States and were reared in Wahoo by Thomas Killian and his wife and by him were taken into the store, being given a business education and training. They are all now in business for themselves and are doing well. Mr. Killian has an attractive mercantile establishment, carrying a large and well selected line of goods and receiving a liberal patronage, for it is well known that his business methods are thoroughly reliable and that he earnestly desires to please his patrons. He also owns the postoffice building, which he erected and equipped in less than sixty days after being awarded the contract and which is thoroughly up to date and finely appointed.

On the 23d of September, 1877, in Saunders county, Nebraska, Mr. Killian was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Zelesny, her father being Fingado Zelesny, who was a native of Austria and is now deceased. To our subject and his wife have been born the following children: Thomas H., whose birth occurred in 1878 and who passed away in January, 1879; Carrie, also deceased; Lloyd J., who wedded Miss Alma Jamison and resides in Los Angeles, California; Mary Elizabeth, who is the wife of William McGeachin and lives in Manila, Philippine Islands; Jessie, at home; Sylvia, the wife of James C. Quigley, of Valentine, Nebraska; Raymond Albert, at home; Edward, living in San Diego, California; Pauline C., who gave her hand in marriage to Dr. R. N. Anderson, of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska; and William McKinley, who is in the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

In religions faith Mr. Killian is a Catholic. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, having taken the degrees of the York Rite and the Mystic Shrine. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he has served as councilman of Wahoo for eight years and as mayor for two terms, having been called to public office by the vote of his fellow townsmen, who recognize his ability, his public spirit and his devotion to the general welfare. He is a true American in his loyalty to the stars and stripes and at every point in his career has shown a public spirited devotion to the general good. He has many admirable traits of character traits that are worthy of all praise, and wherever he is known he is spoken of in terms of high regard.

From:
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
Vol. II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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