Charles H. Klein


Charles H. Klein was born June 2, 1872, in Carver County, Minnesota.

The 1880 United States census showed Carl Klein (age 8, born in Minnesota) living with his parents Georg (age 33, born in Germany, farmer) and Marie (age 36, born in Germany) in Benton Township, Carver County, Minnesota. His other siblings were Pauline (age 10, born in Minnesota), Emilee (age 4, born in Minnesota), and Christian (age 4, born in Minnesota). Magdalene (age 72, born in Germany) also lived with the family.

The 1885 United States census showed Charles Klein (age 13, born in Minnesota) living with his parents George (age 38, born in France) and Mary (age 41, born in Germany) in Benton Township, Carver County, Minnesota. His other siblings were Pauline (age 15, born in Minnesota), Emilie (age 11, born in Minnesota), and Christ (age 11, born in Minnesota). Magdalene (age 78, born in France) also lived with the family.

The 1895 Minnesota census showed Charle Klien (age 24, born in Minnesota, salesman) living in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The 1900 United States census showed Charles H. Klein (age 27, born in June 1872 in Minnesota, brick manufacturing) married to Matilda A. (age 23, born in November 1876 in Minnesota) and living in Chaska, Minnesota. Charles’ brother Christ P. (age 25, born in November 1875 in Minnesota, brick manufacturing) also lived with the couple.

The 1905 Minnesota census showed Carls Klein (age 33, born in Minnesota, brick manufacturing) married to Matilda (age 28, born in Minnesota) and living in Chaska, Minnesota.

Klein C H, Chaska. Banker and brickmaker. Born June 2, 1872 in Carver county, Minn, son of George and Mary (Herrmeyer) Klein. Married Dec 15, 1898 to Matilda Bauermeister. Attended common schools and Curtis Business College. Engaged in teaching school Carver county 1894-97; bkpr and sales agt for Christ Herrmeyer St Paul 1890-93; engaged in brick business 1895 to date. Pres C H Klein Brick Co and First National Bank. Member (MN) House of Representatives 1902-1906. (Little Sketches of Big Folks Minnesota 1907, An alphabetical list of representative men of Minnesota, with biographical sketches, R. L. Polk & Co. Publishers, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, 1907, Page 222)

The 1910 United States census showed Chas. H. Klein (age 37, born in Minnesota, brick manufacturer) married to Mathilda (age 33, born in Minnesota) and living in Chaska, Minnesota.

Klein, Charles H., b. in Carver county, Minn., June 2, 1872; engaged in the manufacture of brick in Chaska since 1895; was a representative in the legislature in 1903-5; a state senator, 1911. [25; 30*.] (Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume XIV, Minnesota Biographies 1655-1912, Compiled by Warren Upham and Rose Barteau Dunlap, Published by the Society, June, 1912, St. Paul, Minnesota, Page 407)

Served in the Minnesota House 1903-06 and in the Minnesota Senate 1911-14. (Legislative Manual of the State of Minnesota, 1913)

Hon. Charles H. Klein. Manufacturer, banker, legislator and influential force in promoting the progress and improvement of the section of the state in which he lives along all lines of genuine and permanent advancement, Hon. Charles H. Klein, one of leading business men of Chaska, Carver county, has long exemplified in his career the best attributes of elevated and useful American citizenship and the most commendable trials in many lines of serviceable endeavor and been found true of lofty ideals and sound principles in all. Mr. Klein was born in Benton township, Carver county, Minnesota, June 2, 1872, and is a son of George and Mary (Herrmeyer) Klein, the former a native of Alsace-Lorraine, and the later of Hanover, Germany, but married in this country, and in the township which has ever since been their home. In 1856 the father, George Klein, came with his parents, Adam and Magdalena (Hoch) Klein, to this country from their native land and located on a tract of land in Benton township which Adam pre-empted soon after his arrival. They were pioneers here and called upon to undergo all the privations and hardships of frontier life. But they adapted themselves to their situation and made the most of it. Adam kept a store on his farm and he and his wife lived on it during the remainder of their lives, the father passing away at the age of fifty-eight and the mother at that of eighty-eight.

After the death of his father George carried on the operation of the farm, and this he continued to do until he died in February, 1912, at the age of sixty-six. He was long a member of the township board and its chairman for a number of years. His widow, who still has her home in Benton township, is a member of the Lutheran church to which he belonged, and of which his father and mother were the first members. George’s brother Adam was a farmer near Mankato, where he died a number of years ago. George and his wife were the parents of four children, of whom Charles was the second in the order of birth. The others are: Paulina, who is the wife of Nicholas Munsch, of Wood Lake, Minnesota; Emily, who is the wife of William Bussman, of Benton township, this county, and Christian P. Charles H. Klein remained on the farm with his parents until he reached the age of eighteen. In 1890 he pursued a course of business training at the Curtis Business College in St. Paul, and for two years thereafter he was employed as a bookkeeper in that city. During the next three years he taught school in his native township, and in 1895 began manufacturing brick at Chaska in partnership with his brother Christian. They bought an old brickyard at Chaska, and at the beginning of the business employed forty men. Now they employ, in the several industries which they conduct, 350 men and pay out in wages $100,000 a year. During the first year of their operations they made 2,000,000 brick, and in each of the several years since they have turned out more than 51,000,000. In the three companies Mr. Klein is connected with the amount of money invested is a quarter of a million dollars. The three companies alluded to are the Chaska Brick and Tile company, in which Mr. Klein is associated with J. W. L. Corning, of St. Paul; the C. H. Klein Brick company, of Chaska, in which his partner is his brother Christian, and the brick manufacturing firm of Klein Bros., in which also he is in partnership with Christian.

In addition, he is president of the First National Bank of Chaska and the Victoria State Bank at the village of that name, having filled that office in the latter from the time of its organization. The First National Bank of Chaska was founded in September, 1906, by John G. Lund. In January, 1907, it was bought by the Kleins, Charles H. becoming president and Christian P. vice president. Mr. Klein is a Republican in politics and has always taken an active interest in the affairs of his party. In the fall of 1902 he was elected to the state house of representatives, and in 1904 he was re-elected. In his last session he was chairman of the committee on manufactures. In 1910 he was elected senator from Carver county, which was the whole senatorial district, and in the senate he was again chairman of the committee on manufactures. One term in the senate filled the measure of his ambition for legislative honors, and in 1914 he declined to be a candidate for re-election. On December 15, 1897, Mr. Klein was married to Miss Matilda A. Bauermeister of Norwood, this county, a daughter of Otto and Sophia Bauermeister, pioneers of Carver county and Benton township, both now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Klein have no children. They are members of the Lutheran church, and Mr. Klein is a valued member of the local school board, on which he has rendered the people of the township appreciated service for several years. He is widely known and highly esteemed as one of the most substantial, enterprising and useful citizens of Carver county, and one of the truly representative men of the state of Minnesota. (Compendium of History and Biography of Carver and Hennepin Counties, Minnesota, Edited by Maj. R. J. Holcombe and William H. Bingham, Henry Taylor & Company, Chicago, IL, 1915, Page 301)

The 1920 United States census showed Charles H. Klein (age 47, born in Minnesota, president Klein brick) married to Matilda (age 43, born in Minnesota) and living in Chaska, Minnesota.

The 1930 United States census showed Charles H. Klein (age 57, born in Minnesota, banker) married to Mathilda (age 53, born in Minnesota) and living in Chaska, Minnesota.

Page 1. C. H. Klein, Banker Industrialist, Dies. An era of banking, business, and political history in Carver county and the entire state was terminated late last week [September 15, 1961] with the death of Charles H. Klein, of Chaska. Klein, prominent for more than a half century in Minnesota banking, construction, and political circles, died Friday evening in St. Francis Hospital, Shakopee, following a stroke. He had been a Chaska resident all his life and was still active when stricken. Death came following a three-day confinement in the hospital at the age of 89 years, 3 months, 13 days. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at St. John’s Lutheran church, Chaska, with the Rev. Otto E. Kohn officiating. Interment was in St. John’s cemetery. The life story of C. H. Klein is meteoric – one that conceivably will never be equaled. He was the president of seven Minnesota banks – National Banks of Chaska, Waconia, and Montevideo; the Klein National Bank in Madison; and the Victoria, Cologne, and Young America State Banks.

In the construction field he was the owner of the C. H. Klein Brick Company, Chaska; the Minnesota Sand & Gravel Company, Chaska; Wunder-Klein-Donohue Company, Minneapolis; Belt Line Brick Company, New Brighton; Industrial Aggregates, Minneapolis; Ready-Mix Concrete Company, Minneapolis; and Quality Service Concrete Company, Edina. Politically, Mr. Klein was elected to the State Legislature, served two terms as State Senator, and was Carver County Republican Chairman for 38 years – the latter tenure more than earning him the title of “Mr. Republican” in this area. Charles H. Klein was born June 2, 1872 on a farm located in Benton Township, Carver County, Minnesota and was baptized and confirmed on April 3, 1887 in Zion Lutheran church, Benton, by the Rev. G. A. Bernthal. He parents were George Klein, who migrated from Alsace-Lorraine, and Marie Herrmeyer, an immigrant from Hanover, Germany. He attended the parochial school and District School No. 29 in Benton Township and later entered the Curtis Business College in St. Paul where he took a course in book-keeping and commercial business training. In 1890, his uncle, Mr. Herrmeyer, engaged him as a book-

Page 12. keeper in his brick business and he continued working for him until 1893. Mr. Klein taught district school in 1894 with the school located about a mile and a half from his parent’s home. It was in 1895 that he became interested in the manufacture of brick at Chaska, but he continued teaching until December 14, 1897, when he married Mathilda Anna Bauermeister at Norwood with the Rev. Kaiser performing the ceremony. It was in 1898 that he joined St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran church at Chaska. He was elected to the local school board around 1900 and later became president of the Board of Education – serving in the latter capacity for nearly 20 years. C. H. Klein entered politics in 1902 and was elected to the State Legislature under the Republican ticket – serving two terms. In 1910 he was elected State Senator and served during the terms of 1911-1913. He was one of three remaining members of the 1913 Senate. Following retirement from the State Senate he was elected chairman of the Carver County Republican Committee – a post he held for 38 years. In 1907 he bought the majority interest in the First National Bank of Chaska and in 1911 organized the Victoria State Bank. Eight years later he also organized the First National Bank of Waconia.

He acquired the interests in the State Bank of Cologne, State Bank of Young America, and State Bank of Plato in 1926 and started the First National Bank in Montevideo in 1927 and the Klein National Bank of Madison in 1931. He purchased the Hardstone Brick Company in South Saint Paul and in 1931 the Chaska plant and the South Saint Paul plant were incorporated as the C. H. Klein Brick Company. In the same year, 1931, he organized the Minnesota Sand & Gravel Company at St. Louis Park and in 1939 became interested in ready-mix concrete and with business associates formed the Industrial Aggregate Company. Later, in 1945, the Ready-Mixed Concrete Company and later the Quality Service Concrete Company were formed. In 1948, at the age of 76, he became the owner of the Belt Line Brick Company of New Brighton. Mr. Klein’s entire life is the story of success with one successful venture prompting another endeavor. Surviving this now legendary figure are the deceased’s wife, Mathilda, and a brother, Christian P., of Chaska. Two sisters, Mrs. William (Amelia) Bussmann, and Mrs. Nicholas (Pauline) Munsch, and parents of the deceased, preceded in death. Funeral arrangements were handled by Pearson & Gastler of Chaska, with banking, business and political associates joining relatives and friends in a final tribute. (Weekly Valley Herald, Thursday, September 21, 1961, Volume LXXXXVIIII, Number 24)

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