Sunday, December 18, 2011


 Henry Klapproth
Henry Klapproth, who was engaged in farming on Section 6, Somers Township, Berryville, was born on April 18, 1855 in Gittelde, a small iron ore mining village in the Harz Mountain range of Germany.  At the age of nineteen, Henry Klapproth became a certified Journeyman Cooper and proceeded to travel to France and other places in Germany to find work.  By the age of twenty four, he found the wars had left the impoverished German people little to rebuild their homes and lives and on March 20, 1880 Henry sailed to America looking for a better life, arriving at the Port of Baltimore .  He immediately proceeded to Racine to live with his sister, Louisa Klapproth Krueger and her husband C.F. Krueger who arrived in Wisconsin in 1868 and whom later bought a farm on the lake shore in Somers Township, Section 6.  Henry secured work at the Mitchell Wagon Company in Racine.
On January 16, 1884 Henry Klapproth married Emilie Willhelmina Sasse, at First Evangelical Church in Racine.  Emilie was born in Germany on March 22, 1857 and was the daughter of Carle and Emilie Sasse who who neighbors of his sister.   Three children were born of this union: Conrad of Ohio, William who died of injuries resulting of an auto accident in Racine; and Henry, Jr. of Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.  On March 18, 1893, Emilie had surgery at St. Mary's Hospital and died at the age of 37, leaving Henry widowed with three small children.  Emilie was buried in Mound Cemetery, Racine. 

Emilie Sasse Klapproth
(Source:  Photo from personal collection of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson. Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved.)
Henry married the second time to Catherine Fox Fruedenberg on July 3, 1893 at the home he built on Hagerer Street in Racine.  Catherine was born in Caledonia, Racine County, on September 19, 1860 and was the daughter of Michael and Christine (Schmidt) Fox, German pioneers.  Henry has saved his earnings, sold his house in Racine, and moved to the farm he purchased in 1905 in Berryville, living about a mile from his sister.
 Henry and Catherine had three children: Daniel August married Vernetta Rolfs and they lived on the farm homestead in Berryville; Viola Christine married Anthony P. Heidenreich of Racine; and Lillian Christiane who married Frank Sahorske of Racine.

Katherine and Henry Klapproth
(Source:  Photo pesonal collection of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved.)

1887 Partial Somers Map
Section 6, H. Klapproth 20 acre parcel
Kenosha County Land Records show Henry Klapproth purchased from Maria Madson March 1, 1905 who purchased it from Chester Barrows November 24, 1902.

Henry and Catherine purchased twenty acres of farm land in Section 6, Somers Township in the neighborhood known as Berryville on March 1, 1905.  This 20 acres is now a portion of the Kenosha County Club.  Henry Klapproth farmed this parcel for ten years at which time he sold all 20 acres in 1915 and then proceeded to purchase a  farm from the Hansche's of thirty two and three quarter acres on March 23, 1915 of which land is located directly east across the road.  Katherine died March 20, 1928 and Henry died February 21, 1932.  Katherine and Henry's son, Daniel continued to operate the farm until his death in 1935.  His wife Vernetta continued the farm operation with the help of her family and five children, Sherwood, Daniel, Shirley, Irvin and Melvin.

Klapproth Farm, purchased March 1915
Berryville, Somers Township
Section 6.  32.75 acres
(Source:  Photo courtesy of personal collection of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved.)

 The Klapproth Diary and Supply Cost List - 1915
The Klapproth farm was purchased in March 1915 and a diary was kept by Henry's son, Henry, Jr. during the first year.  The budget has been retyped however the April 6, 1915 - May 12, 1915 diary is a scan of the original.  Thank you to Henry's granddaughter, Carol Klapproth Isgrow of Ohio for sharing this diary.

1915 Budget for Farm Supplies
Plow $12.00
Disc $18.00
Fine tooth cultivator $4.00
Harness, collar and halters $64.00
Horse blanket $1.25
Ax handle $0.10
Bag of fertilizer $1.57
Pitch Fork $0.65
Wheel Barrow $1.95
Four shoes for horse $0.50
Lawn Mower $9.00
Three horses $175.00
Five cows $350.00
Forty chickens $40.00

1915 Budget for Household and Misc. Items
Alarm Clock $1.00
Cord of Wood $0.16
Ham, whole per pound $0.18
Eggs, per dozen $0.20
Butter, per pound $0.28
Flour, 25 pound bag $1.10
Tea Kettle $0.58
Mouse Trap $0.10
Wash Board $0.45
Apron $0.35
1,300 pounds of heating coat $6.75
Toy Wagon $0.75
Ladies Purse $1.25
One gallon of paint $2.00
Sole and heels on shoes $0.85
Canvas Gloves $1.30
Man's Haircut $0.35
Sunday Newspaper $0.05
Film for camera $0.25
Hunting License $1.25
Ladies Silk Stockings $0.90

Klapproth 1915 Farm Diary April 6, 1915 to May 12, 1915

World War I and Germans
Although World War I started in 1914, the effects of the war did not impact German immigrants until President Wilson issued a law on November 16, 1917 which required all male alien enemies to register at their county offices.  This registration card was required to be on the person at all times or they would be subject to arrest and detention for the period of the war.  Of those German immigrants like Henry Klapproth who did not complete Naturalization Papers before the war, he was subject to restrictions even though he had arrived in the United States in 1880 -  thirty seven years prior.
President Wilson issued the same for females on April 18, 1918.  Although Catherine Klapproth was born in Racine and officially a citizen, she was married to an alien and was subject to the same.
Below are World War I Registration identification papers.

Katherine Klapproth
World War I Registration Identification

Henry Klapproth
World War I Registration Identification

More About Klapproth
"For Sale - Good Milch cows.  Route #4, Box 31.  H. Klapproth.  Berryville."
(Source:  Racine Journal, publication date, November 8, 1912)

"For Sale - 30,000 Strawberry plants.  Henry Klapproth.  Berryville"
(Source:  Racine Journal, publication date May 31, 1913)

" For Sale - 50,000 Glen Mary strawberry plants.  $2.00 per 1,000.  Henry Klapproth.  Berryville."
(Source:  Racine Journal, publication date April 29, 1916)

"For Sale - 50,000 Cabbage plants.  H. Klapproth.  Berryville."
(Source:  Racine Journal, publication date July 2, 1917)

"Wanted - Berry pickers for Monday morning.  None but good pickers need apply.  Henry Klapproth.  Hansche Road, Berryville."
(Source:  June 21, 1919)

Taking Hay to Barn
Klapproth Farm
(Source:  Photo from personal collection of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved.)

Irvin and Melvin Klapproth and their favorite horse "Scotty"
(Source: Photo from personal collection of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.)

Shirley, Daniel, Sherwood, Melvin, Irvin Klapproth.  Circa 1930's.
(Source: Photo from personal collection of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson. Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved.)

Sherwood Klapproth harvesting wheat with his "red" Oliver tractor.  Circa 1958.
(Source: Photo from personal collection of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.)


  1. This is amazing - my Grandpa was Melvin Klapproth and it's good for my soul to see these pictures and read about our family history!

  2. You must be Gayle's daughter, Melissa. I agree your grandfather was an amazing man. There will not be another like him! Fortunate for me, he and I saw a lot of one another after my father died. I was lucky to get to know him as an adult. We went on several trips with him, golfed on Sunday's, and went out to dinner often. My husband and Melvin went to several car races and they often talked about cars. I hope you found the Klapproth information interesting.