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Below is a family biography included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John C. Klenke is the son of Christopher and Margaret (Marquarl) Klenke, both natives of Hanover, Germany. When young both came to this country, and were married in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the father followed molding in a stove foundry. About 1844 they came to this county, where they passed the remainder of their days. The father was of Catholic faith and the mother of Lutheran. After the death of the father, in 1860, the mother married Frantz Eckler. She died in 1886. The family by the first marriage consisted of nine children, four sons and five daughters, our subject being the eldest child. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1830, and his early education was very deficient on account of the meager advantages afforded by the schools at that early day. When about fourteen years of age he went to St. Louis and engaged as salesman in a mercantile establishment at that place. After working at this business for some time he started to learn the plasterer’s trade but soon gave it up. Soon after he engaged with a firm in merchandising, and step by step he advanced until he became a traveling salesman, which business he followed for four or five years. In 1864 he married Miss Lisetta Rechtien, who was a native of Oldenburg, Germany; she died in Franklin County in 1879. The result of this union was the birth of seven children, one son and six daughters. In 1879 Mr. Klenke was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Eggert, a native of this county, born in 1857, and to this union were born four children, one son and three daughters. In 1865 Mr. Klenke came to Franklin County where he engaged in merchandising, and continued at this business until 1880, when he closed out. In connection with selling goods he has been interested in farming. He is a Democrat in politics, and he is, as were both his wives, a member of the Catholic Church.

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This family biography is one of 305 biographies included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Franklin County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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