CALVIN ELLIS KLINE, widely known in Kansas City as a blacksmith and a wagon maker, is a self made man, as he has earned his own living since the time he was twelve years old. For a man to make a success of his life under any circumstances is a subject for congratulation, in this age of competition, but when he has all of the difficulties to surmount that Mr. Kline has encountered, he may justly be proud of himself. As a matter of fact, however, Mr. Kline is a very modest man in regard to his own abilities and attainments. In addition to his business career, which has been exemplary throughout, Mr. Kline has been connected with many public improvements of different nature, he has for years been deeply interested in the educational progress of the county, and perhaps he feels the more concern because he was deprived of very much schooling in his boyhood days, and for that reason he wants to do all that is possible for his children and for others of the present generation. He is not, however, an ignorant man, as he has observed much that was useful to him and has besides read a great deal about those subjects which are of vital interest to any citizen of the United States.
Calvin Ellis Kline was a native of Columbia county, Pennsylvania, where he was born December 9, 1851. He is the son of Leonard and Mary Ann (Labour) Kline, both natives of Pennsylvania, the father being of German descent and the mother of English and German, They were the parents of eleven children, of whom Calvin Ellis Kline was the sixth in order of birth. He attended the public schools in his native township, but was only able to stay in school until he was twelve years of age, owing to the necessity there arose for him to begin to earn something to help defray the expenses of the family. He made excellent use of the few years that he was in school and there learned to think, something that many a college graduate never learns. Mr. Kline stayed in Pennsylvania until he was twenty-eight years old, engaged in the work of wagon-making and blacksmithing, both of which trades he learned when he left school. In 1879 he came to Kansas and located in Wyandotte county, where he worked in the Union Pacific shops for a time, about eight months, and then he moved to Quindaro township and went to work in a shop there. At the expiration of four months he bought out the interest of his employer and since that time has been the proprietor of a very prosperous business, which has changed its location three times. He himself superintends each piece of work that comes into the shop and he employs a man and a boy to assist him.
Mr. Kline has been twice married. As a young man in Pennsylvania, he married Miss Laura L. Preston, the daughter of the Reverend James L. and Carrie T. (Lukins) Preston, respected residents of that state, where their daughter, Laura, was born. To Mr. and Mrs. Kline eight children were born, as follows: Emma L., now Mrs. A. C. Cooke; Carrie, now Mrs. Harry Cooke; J. Wilbur, who enlisted in Company L, of the Twentieth Kansas Infantry, to serve in the Spanish-American war, and was killed in the Philippine Islands, and whose body was brought back to Kansas and buried in Quindaro cemetery, where his grave is carefully tended; Myra Elizabeth, now Mrs. George Tooley; Elsie M., wife of Fred Spellman; Calvin E. Jr., who married Miss Nellie McNaughton and lives in Quindaro township, where he carries on the business of carpentering and blacksmithing; Boyd L., who married Margaret Miller and lives on Eighteenth street, where he works as a grocery clerk and a butcher; Mabel, who is Mrs. Charles Painter. In 1892 Mrs. Kline died, at the age of thirty-three years, and she is buried beside her soldier boy in Quindaro cemetery. In 1893 Mr. Kline married Mrs. Myra N. Larish, widow of Wallace Larish, and sister to the first Mrs. Kline. Four children were born to this second union; James L. Preston (named after his maternal grandfather) is a carpenter living with his father; Chester Bryan is an apprentice in his father's shop and a graduate from the public schools; Virginia and Ruth are both students in the public school.
In the midst of his business and domestic life, Mr. Kline has taken time to attend to matters of public interest and his fellow citizens have shown their appreciation of his uprightness of character and keen mind by bestowing honors on him, honors which involved work, however. Mr. Kline was a member of the school board for one term, and was for four terms township clerk; he served two terms as township trustee and was for twelve years justice of the peace, during which period his decisions were remarkable for their fairness and leniency at the same time. He is affiliated with various fraternal orders, holding membership with the Improved Order of Red Men, and he has passed the chairs and represented his lodge in the Great Council at Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1910. He has held offices in the Pocahontas Society, and holds membership too with the Woodmen of the World, his direct affiliation being with the Kansas City, Kansas, chapter. He is also a member of the Masonic order and among the very oldest in Wyandotte county, having joined the old Delaware Lodge, No. 96, at White Church, Wvandotte county, in 1886, where he passed through the chairs and is Past Master of that lodge. He was instrumental in organizing Roger E. Sherman Lodge, No. 369, Quindaro, and became a charter member by his transfer from Delaware Lodge, in 1903. Thus does Mr. Kline interest himself in affairs that have a tendency to broaden him in intellect and in views, and there is no one in Quindaro township who stands higher in the estimation of its residents.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project