FREDERICK H. KLUSS. — The substantial, progressive and influential citizens of Benton county have no better representative than Frederick H. Kluss, who holds high rank among the keen-witted, practical and progressive men who are so skillfully and successfully conducting the extensive agricultural interests of this part of Iowa. He owns and occupies a well-kept farm on section 13, Iowa township, and is actively identified with the best interests of the community in which he resides. A son of the late Frederick Kluss, he was born, October 4, 1856, in Mecklenburg, Germany, where the first four years of his life were passed.
Emigrating with his family to the United States in 1861, Frederick Kluss lived for six years in Clayton county, Iowa. Locating in Benton county in 1867, he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in LeRoy township, and from the raw prairie land began the pioneer task of improving a homestead. From that time until his death, July 4, 1905. at the age of eighty-two years, he was employed principally as a tiller of the soil. He married Dotheria Boetefeur, who died in September, 1901, aged seventy-five years, They were the parents of three children, of whom two survive, namely: Frederick H., with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned, and Minnie, wife of Julius Studt, of Luzerne.
Growing to manhood on the home farm, Frederick H. Kluss received a good common school education, after which he remained at home until twenty-six years of age, in the meantime assisting his father on the homestead and obtaining a practical insight into the various branches of agriculture. Beginning his independent career on the parental farm, he subsequently purchased the entire estate to which he now holds title, it being one of the best improved places in LeRoy township. In 1891 Mr. Kluss removed to Iowa township, assuming possession of his present farm of two hundred and forty acres and in adding to its improvement has found both pleasure and profit. He has bought other land of much value, owning now nine hundred and ninety-one acres of the choicest land to be found in Benton county. He is widely recognized as one of the most intelligent, wide-awake and prosperous farmers of the state, possessing as he does a good understanding of the way in which to secure the best returns for the energy, time and money that he expends. In addition to general farming he has been extensively engaged in buying and shipping stock since 1903.
Mr. Kluss has accumulated a good property aside from his farming lands, and is one of the stockholders in the Luzerne Savings Bank, and likewise in the Corn Belt Savings Bank of Belle Plaine, of which he was formerly a director. He is prominently identified with the Democratic party, and is very popular in political circles. He was honored with the election to the office of mayor of Luzerne immediately after the city was incorporated, and held the position four consecutive years. He has also served as a justice of the peace. Religiously, true to the faith in which he was reared, he is a member of the German Lutheran church.
On February 4, 1883, Mr. Kluss was united in marriage with Emma Tatge, who was born in Luzerne, Benton county, Iowa, November 29, 1863, a daughter of Conrad and Mary (Steege) Tatge. Mr. and Mrs. Tatge, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this volume, emigrated to this country in 1852, and for three years lived in Illinois, near Oswego. In 1855 they came by wagons to Benton county, locating on government land on section 19, LeRoy township, where the death of Mr. Tatge occurred in November, 1884. Mrs. Tatge survived him many years, passing away on June 9, 1901. They had five children, four of whom are living, as follows: Henry W., of Keystone, Iowa; August T., of Luzerne; Mary, wife of Henry Studt, of Evanston, Illinois; and Mrs. Kluss. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kluss, namely: Johanna, born June 15, 1884, wife of William Niebuhr, of LeRoy township; Minnie, born December 19, 1885, wife of Fred Kettler, of Union township; Mary Dorathy, born April 10, 1887, wife of J. H. Rieck, of Iowa township; Emma J. M., born February 2, 1890; Ida A. L., born June 2, 1891; Frederick J., born June 8, 1893; Selma W., born February 9, 1895; August H. K, born March 1897; Martin F. G., born August 29, 1899; and Katie I., born November 23, 1901.
Picture of Frederick and Emma Kluss