Nicholas Klein (1863 - 1926)
Mary Wester (1869 - 1947)

Nicholas2 Klein (Jean Nicolas1) was born 12 January 1863 at Belgium, Town of Belgium, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, the son of Jean Nicolas and Margaretha (Mootz) Klein. According to Ozaukee County birth records, v 2, p 771, he was born 1 January 1864 but this record is based on a birth registration filed by his father on 28 August 1872 when he registered the births of all of his children except William. According to the baptism records of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church at Lake Church, Town of Belgium, he was born 12 January 1863 and baptized 14 January 1863. His sponsors were Nicolaus Goche and Anna Michels. His birth and baptism are recorded in St. Mary's church records, p 64.

He died 19 January 1926, age 63, at his home, 650 North Wisconsin Street, Port Washington, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin of cancer of the stomach. He is buried in St. Mary's cemetery at Port Washington. His death is recorded in Ozaukee County death certificates, v 8, no. 456.

He married Mary Wester 26 June 1894 at 10 o'clock at Holy Cross Roman Catholic church, Town of Belgium. Reverend P. H. Welbes presided. Witnesses were John Baptist Martin, John Pirrung, Elisabeth Wester and Anna Margaretha Klein. The marriage is recorded in the marriage register of the church. See also Ozaukee County marriage records, v 6, no. 1538.

Mary Wester was born 23 June 1869 at Holy Cross, the daughter of Henry and Maria (Possele) Wester. She was baptized 27 June 1869 at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church at Lake Church. Her sponsors were John Nicol Posle (sic) and Maria Mathe. Her birth and baptism are recorded in St. Mary's church records, p 85. Her birth is not recorded in Ozaukee County records although there is a registration dated 17 August 1872 (v 2, no. 116) for a Maria Wester born 3 June 1860. This is probably a transcription error since the date is too close to the birthdate of Margaretha Wester who was born 22 September 1860. See Ozaukee County birth records, v 2, no. 113. Instead, this earlier Maria Wester, according to St. Mary's church records, p 81, was born 1 July 1868 and baptized 5 July 1868. Her sponsors were also John Nicolas Possle and Maria Mathe and it is assumed that she died before the second Mary Wester was born. On the other hand, the 1870 Census of Wisconsin, v 1, p 27, reports a Mary Wester, age 2, in the household of Henry and Mary Wester in the Town of Belgium. Therefore, it is conceivable that there was only one Mary Wester and that the June 1869 baptism recorded on p 85 of the church records is a duplicate of the earlier July 1868 baptism.

She died 2 March 1947, age almost 78, of shock from a strangulated ventral hernia at St. Alphonsus hospital, Port Washington, and is buried next to her husband in St. Mary's cemetery there. Her death is recorded in Ozaukee County death records, v 12, no. 497.

Their gravestone reads:

nee Wester

According to her son Joseph, Mary Wester Klein had a very even disposition -- sort of easy going and seemed to be contented at all times. "I do not think we could have wished for a more wonderful mother nor a more easy going father," he once wrote.

Nicholas Klein stood approximately 6 feet, 2 inches tall and had a reputation of being a very strong person. In fact, he was reputed at one time to have been the strongest man in Ozaukee County.

According to his son Joseph, Nicholas Klein went to work in the Wisconsin woods as a lumberjack at age 16. During the next 14 years he saved a stake of $4,000. When he returned from the woods about 1893, he got married, became a grain speculator and lost all his money. He opened a tavern in the Town of Belgium and operated it for three years. He then moved to Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County. When the 1900 U. S. census was taken, the Klein family was recorded as renting a home at 195 First Street, Fond du Lac. Nicholas' occupation is listed at "tannery laborer." See National Archives microcopy T623, roll 1788, v 21, enumeration district 24, sheet 9.

Nicholas Klein later moved to Theresa, Dodge County, where it is believed he operated a tavern. He moved to Milwaukee, Milwaukee County about 1902 where he became a bricklayer and stone mason. In 1905, he moved to Holy Cross.

In 1911, he moved from Holy Cross to Port Washington. The family lived on Harrison Street for about a year and then on Prospect Street for eight or nine years. On 27 February 1923, they purchased the home at 650 North Wisconsin Street from Catherine Schlim. The deed, recorded 16 March 1923, describes the property as follows:

"The south 51 feet of the North 67 feet of Lots No. 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 of Block 15 Kanes Addition, and Beginning at the Northeast corner of Lot No. 16 in Block No. 15 in Kanes Addition to the city of Port Washington, and running from thence East 170 feet, thence south about two feet, thence in a southwesterly direction to the east line of Lot No. 16 in Block No. 15 aforesaid 100 feet south of the place of beginning, being all that part of Lot 17, 18, 19 and 20 in said Block 15 aforesaid lying north and west of a certain ravine there being located excepting the north 16 feet therefrom."

See Ozaukee County deeds, v 73, p 7.

For several years, Nicholas Klein worked in the produce department of Stellings Department Store at Port Washington.

When he died in 1926, he left no will. However, since the residence was owned jointly with his wife, she became the sole owner at his death. It was valued at that time, for Wisconsin inheritance tax purposes, at $5,000.

Mary Wester Klein, his widow, still owned the house when she died in 1947. Her entire gross estate was valued, for Wisconsin inheritance tax purposes, at $6,090.10. Of this, the house was valued at $5,000 and insurance proceeds and a small savings account made up the balance.

By the terms of her will dated 17 January 1939, she divided her estate in equal shares among her children except for some furniture and bedding left to two sons:

I, Mary Klein, of Port Washington, Wisconsin, do hereby make my last Will and Testament as follows, to-wit:

First, I will and direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid.

Second, I give, devise and bequeath to my two sons, Gilbert and Alex, the beds and bedsteads and everything belonging to said beds, which articles are now located in the so-called summer kitchen, on my premises at Port Washington, Wisconsin, together with the building to the rear of my dwelling house, known as a summer kitchen or shanty.

Third, I wish to make known that the garage building on my premises is the property of Alex Klein, who has permission to remove the same.

All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, I hereby give, devise and bequeath, share and share alike, to and among my following named children, to-wit:

Gertrude Beck, Martha Hansen, Joe Klein, Hildegarde Gagne, Alexander Klein, Gilbert Klein, Harry Klein and Florence Gieryic, all of Port Washington, Wisconsin.

I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my son Joseph Klein, executor of my last Will and Testament, without bond and with full power and authority to sell and convey any real estate I might die seized of, and to execute and deliver the proper deeds of conveyance for the same.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal at Port Washington, Wisconsin this 17th day of January, 1939.

Mary Klein (SEAL)

The above instrument was on the day of the date thereof, signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Mary Klein, as and for her last will and testament and we at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our name as attesting witnesses thereto.

S/___________of Port Washington, Wisconsin
S/___________of Port Washington, Wisconsin

See Ozaukee County Court probate files 7768 and 7917.

Nicholas and Mary (Wester) Klein had eight children:

Harry Klein = Mary Anna Conrad
Gertrude Mary Klein = Charles William Beck
Martha Anna Margaret Klein = Mathias Michael Hansen
Joseph Ferdinand Klein = Lorraine Marcella Hubing
Hildegard Magdelen Klein = Adlor Joseph Gagne
Alexander John Klein = 1) Ida Anna Remich
= 2) Bessie Newton Craig Allwardt

Gilbert John Klein = Dorothy Marjorie Burhop
Florence Elizabeth Klein = Edward Stanley Gieryic

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