Biography of Henry Klostermann
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies

One of the prominent and substantial families of Franklin township, is that of Klostermann, a number of residents of this name and of the same ancestry being settled not far apart. A well known member of this honorable old family is Henry Klostermann, who owns 100 acres of fine land situated in sections 28 and 33. Mr. Klostermann was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, June 22, 1852, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Hullman) Klostermann.

Henry Klostermann, Sr., was born in Oldenburg, Germany, and has three brothers and one sister, namely: John, Joseph, Rudolph and Mary, the latter of whom married a Mr. Wegman, all of whom came to America, all are now deceased. In young manhood Henry Klostermann came to America and worked as a day laborer in Cincinnati. As soon as he found himself well enough established, he returned to Germany, where he married Mary Hullman, also a native of Oldenburg, and then returned with her to America, settling at Cincinnati. For a time he drove an express wagon and later conducted a grocery business. He had induced his brothers and sister and his wife's brothers, Henry and Theodore Hullman, to conic with him to America and they all lived for a time in Cincinnati.

The older members of both families remained in Oldenburg. Both grandfathers of our subject were men of note there, having been soldiers under Napoleon and were participants in the battle of Waterloo. In this connection the aged warriors would often tell of the military glory of the once great leader and repeat an ominous saying of his that preceded his downfall. On one occasion, elated by a famous victory, Napoleon uttered the boastful words: "God is ruler of Heaven, and I am ruler on earth." The old soldiers declared that from that time his power declined. They also told of suspicions entertained in their day, that on various occasions the great Napoleon traveled over the country concealed in a load of hay, acting as a spy.

The children born to Henry and Mary (Hullman) Klostermann were: Mary, who died in childhood; John, who died aged 19 years; Joseph, who married Mary Ann Cramer, and is now deceased; Rudolf, who married Mary Niekamp, and lives in Franklin township; Henry; Frances, who died young; George, born on a farm 17 miles from Cincinnati, who married Mary A. Schwietermann and lives in Franklin township; and a babe that died in infancy.

After selling his store in Cincinnati, Mr. Klostermann cleared up a farm of 80 acres some 17 miles west of Cincinnati and it was while living on this farm that the father and sons made charcoal and sold it for 20 cents a bushel and also sold cord wood and even became expert in making staves. In the fall of 1863 Mr. Klostermann decided to make a new home for the family and to provide, so far as was possible, for his growing sons. He bought a farm of 172 acres in Franklin township, Mercer County, from Christopher Johnson, this being the Klostermann home farm, which is now occupied by his son George. In the fall of the year, after they had garnered the crops from the farm near Cincinnati, a start was made by the family for the new home, which was in an unsettled part of Mercer County. No railroads had been constructed through this locality and after the family had come as far as New Bremen, Auglaize County, by canals, they took wagons and thus made the rest of the journey. When Henry Klostermann, Sr., died April 3, 1875, it was found that he had willed all he owned to his wife, who died in February, 1889. The farm was bought by the son George.

Henry Klostermann, our subject was 12 years old when he came to Mercer County, and a part of his education was secured in the schools of Franklin township. He remained at home until his marriage, when 21 years of age, to Mary Mestemaker, who at death left these children: Elizabeth, who married Frank Niekamp, of Marion township, and has four children; Joseph, who resides with his father on the home farm; Frances, who married Frank Watercutter, of Shelby County, Ohio, and has five children; Emma, who married Charles Dorston, of Mercer County; and Rudolph, who works at Dayton for the "Big Four" Railroad Company.

Mr. Klostermann was married (second) to Catherine Backs, a daughter of Bennett and Mary Backs, a native of Germany. The children of this second marriage are: Harman, Augustus, Gregor, Rose, Richard, Albert and Alvina. All the children were born on this farm which Mr. Klostermann purchased when it was but indifferently improved, the residence, however, having been built. He has carried on general farming all these years and for 28 years he ran a threshing machine, a business now conducted by his sons. Mr. Klostermann has a fortune in the gas wells on his farm, two being in operation and from these wells Celina received its first gas.

Mr. Klostermann is a worthy member of the Catholic Church. He is one of the board of directors of the Marion Mutual Insurance Company. In local politics he takes a good citizen's interest and he has served on the School Board and was assessor for three years.

History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois

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