Source: The Biographical Record of Livingston and Woodford Counties, Illinois (1900)
Garmer Kleen, now living retired from the arduous labors to
which he has been accustomed throughout his life, is a worthy example of
the patriotic German-American citizen. His career in this country, where
he arrived a poor youth, unfriended and with little means, a stranger to
the language and customs of our people, possesses much of interest
The birth of Garmer Kleen, one of the prominent farmers of Woodford county, occurred in Germany, December 3, 1838. His father, H. Kleen, born in 1789, departed this life in 1852, and the mother, whose maiden name was Jane Struck, died in Germany when in her seventy-third year, in 1872. They reared seven children, and of these our subject alone left the Fatherland. Henry died, unmarried, when about forty years old; Luban died at the age of sixty and left a wife and one child; Elliott departed this life when in his thirty-ninth year, and Ihulj, who died at sixty-three, left a family to mourn his loss; Rinste is the wife of George Uphoff, a German farmer, and Etie, wife of Henry Schultz, also resides in Germany.
From his boyhood, Garmer Kleen has been devoted to
agricultural pursuits. In 1856 he embarked on a sailing vessel bound for
the United States, and at the end of a four weeks voyage arrived in New
York city. Thence he proceeded to Peoria, and later went to Pekin, where
he found employment in a brickyard. At the end of a year or more
In 1868 Mr Kleen married Dora Kalkwarf, who died within two
years, as also did their little one. In 1872 our subject chose Trinche
Johnson, a native of Germany, for a wife, and after twelve years of happy
wedded life she was summoned to the home beyond. She was about forty years
of age, and for a long time had been a faithful member of the
In his home Mr Kleen is kind and affectionate, and it is a great pleasure to him to provide his dear ones with all the essentials to their comfort and happiness. With his wife he is identified with the Lutheran church, and contributes liberally to religious work. Quietly he has pursued the pathway of right, as far as he knew it, and undoubtedly his influence has ever been salutary and wholesome in his community.
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