submitted by Lynn McCleary, January 5, 2008

Jany 2, 1899 (hand written)

Full of years and honors the venerable John Knopp passed to his reward Sunday evening. He had been in broken health for a prolonged period, an acute attack of cancer confining him to the house for three months, he suffering excruciatingly during the conscious intervals of his declining days. Entering the shadow of death to the aged patient was a transition from pain to peace, as welcome to his resigned spirit even as it was inevitable. The death of Mr. Knopp removed from the community one of those sturdy, industrious and honorable adopted citizens who have led a most useful life among us for nearly a half century. He was born May 16, 1820, in Schnornbach, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, and in his boyhood days was a school mate of the late Capt. Arnold of the same place. At the age of 18 years he succeeded to his father’s business of linen weaving and subsequently learned the trade of stone mason.

In the autumn of 1846 he left his native land and immigrated to America. The voyage completed he landed in New York and then proceeded by canal boat to Holidaysburg, Pa., which place was reached after numerous difficulties owing to a freeze-up. At this place he obtained a position as hostler in a hotel at $3 a month, and the following spring went to work at his trade for a railroad contractor, Henry L. Patterson, in the construction of bridges piers. Here he owned his first home in the new world, buying a primitive habitation for $5, the shanty containing a stationary bed, tables and seats. Here he remained for four years, and his family having joined him they voyaged down the Ohio and up the Mississippi river, landing at Muscatine on April 15, 1850.

Working at his trade for eight years, being in the employ of Joe Dean, the leading stone mason at that time, and later became a contracting mason himself, working at this occupation until it affected his health, whereupon he quit on the advice of his physician. In 1859 he embarked in the grocery business with the late Martin Havercamp, and in which he continued for nine years when he disposed of his interest to his partner.

He next devoted his energies to grape culture and wine making and in 1882 moved to the country, intending to lead a retired life. His son-in-law, Mr. Noll, died in 1890 leaving in his care six small children and the management of the farm. In 1892 his wife passed away and the burden of looking after the farm and desolate family being too great, he sold the farm and with his daughter’s family went to housekeeping at 1099 Lucas street, where he resided until death claimed him. Mr. Knopp served as a member of the city council during the years 1877 and 1878 under Mayor Dillaway’s administration. He was a member of St. Joseph’s society, which he assisted in organizing in 1858. He was also a leading member of St. Mary’s church, being ever active in the formation of that now large and flourishing parish. His death is mourned by four children, George, of Des Moines; John L. and Mrs. Kate Noll, of this city, and Tony, of Lincoln, Neb. Three sisters also survive, Mrs. L. Uumscheld, of this city; Mrs. Margaret Hauer, of St. Louis, who was present at his death bed, and a maiden sister in Germany.

The funeral will take place Wednesday morning at 9 o’clock from St. Mary’s church.

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