Jacob M. Klein
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/15/2011 at 20:24:34
JACOB M. KLEIN was one of the early settlers of Melrose Township. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., March 14, 1819, and in Pittsburgh, Pa., learned the tailorís trade, which he followed throughout life. He attended a Presbyterian college, but afterward joined the Church of God, and at the age of fifteen began preaching for that church. He continued his ministerial labors in the east until 1853, when he was sent as a missionary to LaSalle County, Ill., making the journey thither with a two-horse carriage.
Mr. Klein was married in Pennsylvania to Nancy Hammacker, and they had six children, who grew to manhood and womanhood. With this family he went to Illinois, and after preaching four years in LaSalle County removed to Carroll County, where he had a regular charge and continued about five years. The succeeding two years were passed in Bureau County, after which he returned to LaSalle County, where he preached four years. In 1866 he came to Grundy County, locating on section 26, Melrose Township, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land at $3.50 per acre. He afterward added to this an eighty-acre tract. There were no improvements upon this land, but he made a fine homestead of it. The beautiful evergreens which adorn the place were planted by him, and many improvements there stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. In connection with his farm work he continued preaching. He organized the Alice Church, of Palermo Township, and the Sunday school connected therewith, and continued as pastor of that congregation for about twenty years.
In 1886 Mr. Klein went to Riley County, Kan., where he had previously built a church. He organized several churches and erected houses of worship, he himself working as a carpenter on the construction. In the fall of 1889, he went to DeKalb County, Mo., and built a church near Osborn, of which he continued as pastor until his death on the 21st of April, 1891. His wife died November 11, 1887.
Mr. Klein was one of the first Supervisors of Grundy County, and was a member of the Board when many of the roads of the county were laid out. He also served as Township Supervisor. In politics he was a Whig in early life. He strongly favored abolition, and his home was a station on the famous underground railroad. He afterward joined the ranks of the Republican party. His life was mostly given to the work of the Master and he labored untiringly for different churches, never asking for a stated salary.
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