George Klein – Buggy and Team

George Klein, my husband’s great-grandfather, was born in Darmstadt, Germany, December 27, 1850.  George was the son of Jacob  and Christina Klein.  When George was 18 the family sailed across the Atlantic to America, to make their fortune in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Jacob’s brother had settled.

George met and married Caroline Jungbluth, daughter of Adam Jungbluth and Christina Becker, German immigrants.  Caroline was born in Boscobel, Wisconsin, October 11, 1859.  While working in a sawmill  George cut off all four fingers of his left hand.  After this accident he worked on a farm, and about 1886 the family moved to Custer County, Nebraska, where they lived in a sod house.  George and Caroline had 9 children:  Louis H., Anna C., Elnora L., Edith Margaret, Fred, George Arthur, Carl Henry, Clara M. and Lawrence Klein.

George died September 23, 1924, at the age of 73 at Tabor, Iowa.  The following is his obituary:

George Klein, son of Jacob and Christine Klein was born in Darmstadt, Germany December 27, 1850, and passed away at his home in Tabor, Iowa September 23, 1924, age 73 years 9 months.

He came to America with his parents in 1869 and lived in Milwaukee, Wis. for fifteen years.

He was united in marriage with Caroline Jungbluth October 25, 1881.  To this union nine children were born, five boys and four girls.  One son Henry preceded in infancy.

Mr and Mrs Klein moved to Custer Co., Neb. in the early days of 1886, where he took a homestead.  Here he lived for 28 years.

Tho’ handicapped by the loss of the fingers of the left hand and meeting with drouth and all the hardships of the early pioneer life he brought up his children to honorable manhood and womanhood and gave them a practical education.

Taught in the scriptures from youth he accepted Christ as his personal Savior in 1895, being converted in the United Evangelical Church.  From that time he lived a faithful and devoted Christian life, and has always manifested a deep interest in the forwarding of the work of the Lord, giving of his means and earnestly praying for the salvation of loved ones and friends.

In 1914 Brother and Sister Klein moved to Tabor with their two younger children for the purpose of giving them a Christian education.

He leaves to mourn his departure his companion and eight children all present;  Louis of Calloway, Nebr.; Mrs. Anna Kasper of Lancaster, Wis; Mrs Ella Black of Cozab, Nebr.; Mrs Edith Ritchey of Geneva, Nebr.;  Fred of Hamburg, Ia.; George of Calloway, Nebr.;  and Clara and Lawrence at home.

Besides these there are twenty one grandchildren and one great grandchild, and one brother Andrew of Olympia, Wash.

         A precious one from us has gone
         A voice we loved is stilled;
         A place is vacant in our home
         Which never can be filled.

The day we visited Tabor Cemetery, in October of 2002, it was windy, bitterly cold and spitting snow!  After much searching we finally found George and Caroline’s stone!  I would love to go back and get a better photo!

Don’t you love the picture of George Klein in the buggy?  I’ve never seen a harness for horses quite like this – I suppose that’s what you would call it!  If anyone has any information on this please share!  Was this for decoration or did it serve a particular purpose?

9 replies »

  1. Phyllis, if you’re asking about the strings hanging from the horses’ backs, they’re to keep away flies. Don’t know what they’re called, but I do know that… 😉

  2. Thanks for the family history. I have never seen the photo with the buggy. Bless you for taking care of our history.

  3. Quote by the famous architect, Louis Sullivan guides me through questions like these. “Form ever follows function”. This could be a “Sunday, going to the meeting shawl” for the team but I rather believe that it has a utilitarian purpose like warding off biting flies. Look up Australian cork hats to see where I am going with this.
    I enlarged the photo 4X to see if they might be crotales (jingle bells), which were usually cast in the form familiar to most of us. However, I did come across an ancient design from Northern Ireland and 14th Century England which fits the shape of those found in this picture. Here are 2 links. The second link mentions the use of teardrop shaped crotale bells with harnesses.
    Crotales “evolved” over time from rattles to bells. If these are rattles then they may mimic a rattle snake, which could scare away animals that might startle the team. There is debate as to whether a rattlesnakes (no ears) can pick up the sound of another rattlesnake through vibrations in the air. Some believe that they can.

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