CHARLES KLAUS, a member of the board of directors of the Nilwood State Bank and one of the prosperous farmers of Macoupin county, can claim descent from Teutonic ancestry on both sides of the house and much of his success has been due to those habits of thrift and perseverance which are prominent traits of the German people. He is a native of Illinois, born at Nilwood June 6, 1858, a son of George and Teresa (Metz) Klaus, both of whom were born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany. The father, seeking to improve his condition, came to America and located at Nilwood, where he ran a shoe shop and also operated a boarding house for a number of years. In 1865 he removed to a farm in Nilwood township and devoted his attention to agriculture and stock raising there until 1880 when he took up his residence on a place nearer the village, where he died four years later. He possessed many sterling personal qualities and present an example of industry and fidelity to worthy objects well deserving of imitation by old and young.
In the public schools of Nilwood Charles Klaus secured good advantages of education and continued at his studies until seventeen years of age. He then began devoting his entire attention to farm work under his father and remained upon the home farm until 1885, when he purchased one hundred and forty acres in Nilwood township, south of Nilwood, upon which he established his permanent home. He has been in possession of his farm for more than twenty-five years and by diligent and persistent cultivation of the fields and careful rotation of crops he produced a liberal annual income. He has made many excellent improvements, including the erection of buildings, fences, and the putting in of tile for drainage, and can claim one of the most attractive farms in this part of the county. He possesses an intimate knowledge of agriculture and stock raising as he has been closely identified with this branch ever since his earliest recollection. He is also a stockholder and director of the Nilwood State Bank.
On March 6, 1884, in Girard township, Mr. Klaus was married to Miss Emma S. Kune, who was born in Shaws Point township, a daughter of Christian and Louisa (Kasten) Kune, both of the parents being natives of Germany.
Ever since casting his first ballot Mr. Klaus has supported the principles and candidates of the republican party. He has taken an active interest in elections and has served as highway commissioner and state game warden, displaying an ability that met the hearty approval of the people irrespective of their political affiliation. He is a strong believer in the bible and a consistent member of the Evangelical Lutheran church. His life has been characterized by diligence, enterprise and perseverance, and no man in Nilwood township possesses in a higher degree the confidence of the people than the one whose record is herewith briefly presented.