Alexander County

Biography - William Kluge

WILLIAM KLUGE, wholesale and retail grocer, and one of the most successful of Cairo's business men, is a native of Prussia, and was the third of a family of six children of John Kluge and Wilhelmine Loedige. The parents were each natives of Prussia, the father born in 1800 and died in his native country in 1849, his wife surviving him until 1871, when she, too, died. The names of their children were Augusta, Hermine, William, Amelia, John (who died in infancy) and Mary Kluge. William received a practical education in the country of his nativity, which, combined with his native ability, has placed him among the foremost of the business men of Southern Illinois. He came to the United States when seventeen years old, and for a period of about three years was engaged as a salesman in a Chicago business house. He then went to New Orleans, where he established a small business in the way of a market stand. Being impressed with the commercial facilities of Cairo, he came to that city in 1860, and soon after opened a provision and produce store on a very limited scale. Having business energy and a high appreciation of honorable dealing, he soon found his trade rapidly increasing until a removal to more commodious rooms became necessary. He therefore obtained a room on Commercial avenue, opposite his present place, where he added a line of groceries to his stock. In 1874, he erected the substantial brick store building on the corner of Sixth street and Commercial avenue, where he is now located. Since 1878, he has done considerable wholesale trade. Mr. Kluge's success in Cairo has not been procured without meeting loss, as he sustained serious loss by fire, and, during the war, was repeatedly relieved of quantities of goods at the hands of those who appeared to have a Government license to steal. He was married in Cairo, Ill., to Miss Anna Feith, daughter of Nicholas and Susanna (Feller) Feith. She was born in Germany June 23, 1847, and died in Cairo, Ill., on the 28th of April, 1873, leaving one child, Ida Kluge, who was born October 28, 1871. His present wife, Katie Feith, to whom he was married in November, 1874, is a younger sister to his former wife, and was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 10, 1853. They have had one child, a son — Willie Kluge — born November 8, 1875, and died September 16, 1879. The family are members of the Catholic Church of Cairo. Besides his business property, Mr. Kluge owns considerable city real estate. Family residence on Seventh street, between Washington and Commercial avenues.

Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 24-25.


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