Submitted by Laura Mattingly
History of Gage County, Nebraska", Dobbs, 1918
LOUIS KLOEPPER - In Clatonia township Mr. Kloepper is the owner of a well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres and he has long been numbered among the substantial farmers of the county that has been his home from childhood and to which he came with his parents prior to the admission of Nebraska to statehood. In later years he has given special attention to the breeding of red polled Durham cattle and Duroc-Jersey swine, and in this department of farm enterprise he has been notably successful.
Mr. Kloepper was born near Portsmouth, Ohio on the 31st of March, 1862, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Reller) Kloepper, concerning whose nine children the following brief record may be given: Henry is a resident of Holt county, this sate; John is deceased; William is living retired in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska; Mrs. Lena Gutzmer and her husband reside in Lincoln, Nebraska; Herman is a resident of Clatonia township; Charles is deceased; Louis, of this review, was the next in order of birth; Frank is deceased; and Mrs. Anna Sable is a resident of the state of Kansas. The father was born and reared in Hanover, Germany, the year of his birth having been 1835, and he was a young man when he came to America and established his residence in Ohio. There he followed various lines of work until 1866, when he set forth with his family for Nebraska Territory. Proceeding to St. Louis, the family came by steamboat up the Missouri river to Nebraska City, and from that point the journey was continued by team and wagon to Martel, Lancaster county. There the family remained one year and the father then took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in what is now Clatonia township, Gage county. This land, constituting the southeast quarter of Section 33, he broke up by means of ox teams, and the original family home was a primitive dugout of the type used by many of the other pioneer settlers, Nebraska City at that time being the nearest market, and a week or more being required to make the trip to and from that trading point with the ox team. Henry Kloepper and his brave and devoted wife passed through the hardships and trials incidental to droughts and grasshopper scourges in the early days, but looked with hope and confidence to the future and finally found their efforts crowned with peace and prosperity. Mr. Kloepper continued as one of the honored pioneer farmers of the county until his death, in 1895, and both he and his eife were earnest members of the German Methodist church. Mrs. Kloepper was born in Germany and was a young girl when she made the voyage to America and joined her brother in Ohio, where her marriage was later solemnized. She was nearly seventy years of age at the time of her death, in 1901.
Louis Kloepper was about four years old at the time of the family removal to Nebraska and was reared to maturity on the pioneer farm in Clatonia township, his early education having been gained in the primitive log-cabin school house and by instruction received in the home of John Henry Steinmeyer. As a boy he assisted in keeping the oxen in the furrow while his father was plowing and with increasing capacity he assumed his full share of the labors of the farm. In 1887, after having previously farmed on land rented from his father, he purchased from the latter his present well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and thus he has continued a resident of Clatonia township since his boyhood, the while he has won success and independence through his well directed industry. He is a Republican in politics, is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and he and his wife are active members of the German Methodist church in Clatonia township, he being a trustee of the same.
In August, 1887, Mr. Kloepper wedded Miss Carrie Menke, daughter of the late Henry Menke, to whom a memoir is dedicated on other pages of this volume. Mrs. Kloepper was born near Portsmouth, Ohio, February 9, 1866, and was a child at the time of her parents' removal to Gage county, Nebraska. Arthur, firstborn of the four children of Mr. and Mrs. Kloepper, died at the age of twenty years; Lulu remains at the parental home, as does also Norma; and Jennie died at the age of two years. In 1907 Mr. and Mrs. Kloepper adopted two children, Henry and Grace, whom they are rearing as their own and who accord to them true filial affection.