WILLIAM KLAUS, a prominent farmer of Honey Point Township, who has gained high standing through the application of ability and energy that would have won success for him in any honorable calling, is a native of Nilwood township and was born March 23, 1870. He is a son of George and Teresa (Netz) Klaus, the former of whom was born in France and the latter in Germany. The father learned the shoemaker's trade in his native country, but, desiring to spend his life under more favorable conditions for advancement than he perceived in an old and long settled country, emigrated to America in the latter part of the ‘50s and opened a shoe shop at Auburn, Illinois. A few years later he came to Macoupin county and conducted a shop at Nilwood. After accumulating the necessary money he purchased eighty acres of land in Nilwood township, upon which he established his home, and here continued until his death in 1884. The mother arrived in America in her girlhood and was married to Mr. Klaus at Auburn, Illinois. She survived her husband until 1903, having in the meantime continued to live upon the old homestead.
There were nine children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Klaus, namely: Charles and George, both of whom are engaged in farming in Nilwood township; Emma, who is the wife of Ferdinand Winters, president of the Nilwood State Bank; Katie, the wife of August Schoope, a farmer of Nilwood township; Mary, who married William S. Talley, who is engaged in farming in Nilwood township; William, of this review; Frank, a farmer of Carlinville township; and Walter and Albert, twins, the former of whom is engaged in farming in Nilwood township and the latter a ranchman living on the Circle ranch in Montana.
During his boyhood William Klaus attended the district schools and performed his part in assisting about the house and on the home farm as a member of a large and growing family. After the death of his father he continued on the home place and did not begin farming on his own account until twenty-six years of age. He then rented a place for one year near Fairville, at the end of which time he moved to Nilwood township and continued renting for three years. In 1899 he took up his residence on sections 6 and 7 of Honey Point township, where he acquired one hundred and sixty acres from Charles L. Moore. He has since increased his land holdings by eighty acres and is now the owner of a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres. He engages in general farming and raises good grades of cattle, hogs and sheep, all of the heads of his herds being registered stock. He disposes of his stock to the shippers and generally receives a fair price for what he has to sell. His farm is well improved, has a good orchard and all of the land is capable of cultivation.
On the 26th of October, 1896, Mr. Klaus was married, at Carlinville, to Miss Dena M. Hacke, a daughter of Henry and Dena (Keune) Hacke. The parents were both born in Germany but were married in the United States, and Mr. Hacke engaged in farming east of Carlinville. Subsequently he purchased three hundred and twenty acres in Carlinville township, one and one-fourth miles east of town, and made his home upon this place until his death, which occurred in 1880. Mrs. Hacke is now living in Carlinville. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Klaus, namely: Laurine, Harold, Herbert, Mildred, Russell and Theresa, all of whom are at home. The four eldest of the children are attending the Oakland district school of Honey Point township.
In politics Mr. Klaus is a supporter of the republican party. He has never aspired to public office but has served for twelve years past as school director of the Oakland district school. He is not identified with any religious denomination but his wife is a member of the German Evangelical church at Carlinville. Fraternally he is connected with Womac Lodge of the Court of Honor, his wife being also a member of this organization. He is a public-spirited man and takes a helpful interest in measures for advancing the general good. His success may be attributed to his industry and progressiveness - two qualities that are almost invariably characteristic of all who accomplish worthy objects in life.