Representative Samuel Wesley Klaus View All Years
HON. S. W. KLAUS
MR. SPEAKER: Your committee appointed to prepare a memorial resolution commemorating the life, character, and public service of S. W. Klaus of Delaware County, Iowa, beg leave to submit the following:
Samuel Wesley Klaus, the son of John D. and Elizabeth Klaus, was born on a farm near Colesburg, Delaware County, Iowa, on the 12th day of January, 1861. His parents were sturdy pioneers, who came to this county as early as 1842, buying land from the government in Colony Township, where they reared their family, inculcating in them the principles of righteousness, justice and community service. They were not satisfied with giving their children a common school education merely, but arranged for them to attend college, Samuel Wesley and his brother John going to German English College at Galena, Illinois, where they graduated together in 1882.
After teaching a year, Mr. Klaus came to Earlville, Iowa, in the fall of 1883, and became identified with the business interests of the town, first as a clerk in a general store and later as its proprietor. Since that time he made his home in Earlville, and was engaged in business in the same location for over forty years.
In 1886 he was married to Miss Lizzie Loomis of Farley, Iowa, and this union was blessed with two sons, Dr. Roy W. of Chicago, Illinois, and Norton J. of Earlville. The wife and mother died in 1891. Mr. Klaus was married to Miss Rose Landis in 1896 and to them were born eight children, Earl S., Kenneth R., Ruth, Paul, Lucille, Cora, Elizabeth and Edna.
Though diligent in business, Mr. Klaus always took time to be active in any movement which had for its object the welfare of the community and civic betterment. He was most public spirited and gave unstintedly of his time and energy in promoting every good cause, not only in his town and county, but in state and nation, and this was especially true during the late war. That his ability along these lines was recognized is shown by the number of public offices intrusted to him. For many years he was a member of the town council, serving two years as its mayor; a member of the local board of education for over twenty-five years; a member of the county board of education and the county board of health; a trustee of Epworth Military Academy; chairman of the Delaware county republican central committee for many years; county director of Red Cross; and for two terms the representative of Delaware County in the State Legislature as a member of the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth General Assemblies, and it was during his administration that the Klaus-Haskell Bill was passed. This bill provides for free medical service to poor children at the hospital at Iowa City. He was active in most of these undertakings at the time of his death and his place will be hard to fill. Fraternally, he was a member of Lodge No. 132, I. O. O. F.
The parents of Mr. Klaus raised their children in a Christian atmosphere and he had the advantage of early religious training. In early childhood he united with the Methodist Episcopal church and had been a faithful member all his life. Here again his ability was recognized and he served his church in many capacities, for many consecutive years as choir leader, as Sunday School teacher, as secretary of the official board and trustee. At the last session of the Upper Iowa conference of the Methodist Episcopal church he was elected president of the Laymen’s Association of that conference. He was also a member of the County Sunday School Association.
But despite all these various activities it was in his home that the true character of Mr. Klaus was revealed. It was here that one must have met him in order to really have known him, as the many who shared his hospitality can testify. It was here that the spiritual music of his soul found its true expression. With good literature and good music and the sharing of these with his friends, he made his home a veritable heaven for his loved ones.
On November 21, 1926, the home was suddenly bereft of a loving husband and father, and the community of a useful citizen. Mr. Klaus was instantly killed at a grade crossing when the automobile in which he was riding was struck by a passenger train.
Besides his wife, all of his children and six grandchildren are left to mourn his departure; two brothers, Rev. Wm. H. Klaus of Colesburg, Iowa, and Rev. John H. Klaus of Charles City, Iowa; and two sisters, Mrs. Mary Wellemeyer, Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Mrs. Elizabeth Irmscher of Epworth, Iowa; and many other relatives and a host of friends. One sister, Mrs. Adelaide Holscher, preceded her brother in death.
I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away;
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land.
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you—oh you, who the wildest yearn
For the old time step and the glad return—
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of there as the love of here;
And loyal still, as he gave the blows
Of his warrior strength to his country’s foes—
Mild and gentle, as he was brave,
When the sweetest love of his life he gave
To simple things; where the violets grew
Pure as the eyes they were likened to,
The touches of his hands have strayed
As reverently as his lips have prayed;
When the little brown thrush that harshly chirred
Was dear to him as the mocking bird;
And he pitied as much as a man in pain
A writhing honeybee wet with rain.
Think of him still as the same, I say;
He is not dead—he is just—away!
Therefore, Be It Resolved, That in the passing of the Honorable S. W. Klaus the state has lost a valuable and honored citizen, a man of strong character and sterling worth, and the House would tender by this resolution its sympathy to the family who survive.
Be It Further Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the Journal of the House as an expression of the life and service of the deceased, and copies thereof be transmitted to the widow of the deceased.
C. G. COLE,
T. J. O’DONNELL,
J. B. TRUAX,
Unanimously adopted April 6, 1927.