LUKAS KLAAS. Firm in principles, upright in character and energetic in disposition, this gentleman justly receives the high regard of the community where, for many years, he has lived and labored. To those who in spite of adversity win success in the busy world and who, throughout temptations, retain the principles instilled in their minds during childhood, much praise is due. A worthy representative of that class of agriculturalists and stock-raisers on whom the prosperity of the world so largely depends, Mr. Klaas has for a long period been identified with the prominent interests of Calhoun County, and although not a native of this country is warmly attached to the land of his adoption.
A native of Hanover, Germany, Mr. Klaas was born March 25, 1837, to Bernhart and Angeline Klaas, also natives of the Fatherland. Our subject was the eldest of the children born to his parents, and was reared in his native land where he received a good education. Since his arrival in America he has learned to read, write and transact business in English. In the main a self-educated man, he owes his success in life to his industry and natural ability rather than to any favorable circumstances attending his training and education. When eighteen years of age he emigrated to the United States, taking passage at Bremen in a sailing vessel and landing in New Orleans after a voyage of seven weeks and three days.
Thence Mr. Klaas came direct to Calhoun County, Ill., settling in Richwoods Precinct, and making his home there until 1886. At that date he took possession of the fine estate upon which he has continued to reside up to the present (1890). He owns four hundred acres of land as the result of his hard labor, and is universally conceded to be a good farmer and an excellent business man. When he came to this county it had not attained to its present high state of civilization and he has been in no small degree associated with its development.
Our subject was married in 1864 to Miss Elizabeth Westerman, and their union was blessed with four children, viz: John, Bernhard, Joseph and Theodore. He is now living with his third wife. Politically he is a stanch Democrat and religiously a member of the Roman Catholic Church. He is classed among the most influential and prosperous business men of Belleview Precinct and is noted for his intelligence and activity in trying to promote the interests of the community in which he resides.
Mr. Klaas served with honor and bravery in the Civil War for about twenty months, and having become disabled while in service receives a pension of $6 per month. Among the engagements in which he participated were the battles of Shiloh, Stone River, Mill Springs, Crab Orchard and others of minor importance. He was honorably discharged after winning an enviable record for faithfulness and patriotism. It is a pleasure to represent such gentlemen as Mr. Klaas in our Album, both because of his great merit and because of the excellent example furnished by his life of steady and faithful perseverance in well doing. We also direct the attention of the reader to a view, found on another page, of his comfortable residence and its various rural appurtenances.
Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 752-755
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