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Jacob Klotz, the great-grandfather of Robert Klotz, came to America in the year 1749 from Würtemberg, Germany, and settled in Lowhill township, Northampton (now Lehigh) Co., Pa., and as early as 1767 located lands there.  His son, John, a few years later, married Fronia Crous, and also located lands in the same township, where he lived during his lifetime, and where his death occurred.  Christian Klotz, a son of the latter, was born in 1789, and about the year 1814 left his native township and soon after settled in Mahoning township, now Carbon County.  Here, in 1816, he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert MacDaniel, whose wife was Elizabeth Hicks, a Quakeress.  Robert Klotz, their second son, and the subject of this biographical sketch, was born in Northampton (now Carbon) County, Pa., Oct. 27, 1819.  He received only such education as the winter country schools afforded, with the exception of six months at a private school in Easton, after his twenty-third year.  He utilized his spare opportunities so successfully that, at the age of twenty-four, he was elected the first Register and Recorder of Carbon County.  In 1846 he enlisted for the Mexican war as lieutenant of Company K, Second Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was afterwards made adjutant of same regiment, under Col. John W. Geary, serving at Vera Cruz, first and second battles of Cerro Gordo, at the National Bridge, Huamantla (where Walker fell), and at Puebla (to relieve Col. Reilly, who was surrounded by Santa Anna’s forces), and in other engagements.  In the engagement at the second battle of Cerro Gordo he is honorably mentioned in the War Department Records, No. 411, by the commanding officer in the affair, and to his experience and enthusiasm is due mainly the success, as is alleged by the officers and men, in the warm engagement of the National Bridge, in August, 1847.  Lieut. Alonzo Loring, of Wheeling, Va., who served with him in that memorable charge, is well known to the writer, and is also honorably mentioned in the War Records.  It was here that Lieut. Klotz was placed under arrest for disobedience of orders to spike the cannon, which they two were manning, and retreat.  Klotz’s reply was, “-------, I didn’t come to Mexico to spike cannon.”  Poor Twiggs had just fallen at the piece.  Klotz was relieved the next…



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                                                                                                          … morning and sent with the command to dislodge the enemy at the affair at Cerro Gordo.  On his return home, in 1848, he was elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, and re-elected in 1849.  In 1854 he removed to Kansas by especial invitation of Governor Reeder, located the town of Pawnee, and was elected president of its building association.  He helped to build the first hotel in Leavenworth – the old Shawnee House – in the fall of 1854, and in 1855 built the first hotel in Western Kansas, at Pawnee.  This house was the stopping-place of both parties to the celebrated Free State discussion in Kansas in those early days, and in lively controversy frequently met around his hospitable board Jim Lane, Reeder, Stringfellow, Woodson, Atchison, Conway, Gen. Coffee, and all the leading spirits of the then struggling Territory of Kansas, when the first session of the Legislature adjourned from Shawnee Mission to Pawnee.


He was a member of the Topeka Constitutional Convention, being the first signer of that constitution, and, after its adoption, was appointed, as a Democrat, Secretary of State, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the absence of Hon. Philip C. Schuyler, under Governor Robinson’s administration.  In 1856 he was one of the celebrated “Committee of Safety” to protect the State from invasion, and was appointed brigadier-general of the State troops at Lawrence, where he was associated with Maj. G. W. Dietzler, Gaius Jenkins, Governor Charles Robinson, and others.


He was one of the important factors in the selection of Topeka as the capital of the State, having by his personal influence carried the entire western portion of Kansas in favor of that place, and other important measures then pending.


He returned to his native State in 1857, and in 1859 was elected treasurer of Carbon County.  At the breaking out of the Rebellion, in 1861, he engaged in the United States service for three months under Gen. Patterson.  In 1862 he was made colonel of the Nineteenth Pennsylvania Regiment (organized September 15th and discharged September 27th of the same year), serving, among other places, at Chambersburg “in the emergency.”


Mr. Klotz has been a busy man all his matured life, having had constantly on hand from one to half a dozen commercial enterprises.  At present he is one of the trustees of the Lehigh University, at Bethlehem, one of the board of managers of the Laflin & Rand Powder Company, of New York, besides having various enterprises under his supervision and presidency.


One of the Mexican veterans himself, and one of the vice-presidents for Pennsylvania of the “National Association of Mexican Veterans” ever since its organization, he has evidenced his interest in the welfare of his old comrades by his ceaseless activity in their behalf in and out of Congress.  During the extra session of the Forty-sixth Congress he prepared and introduced a bill for pensioning surviving soldiers, or the families of deceased soldiers, of the Mexican war.  The bill was referred to the Committee on Pensions, who, during the present session, have presented a bill embodying its main features.  His chief legislative efforts have been to benefit the soldiers of the United States, as, indeed, have all his activities been engaged in any capacity he has filled.


Mr. Klotz has ever been a stanch Democrat.  As a Democrat he was elected to the Forty-sixth Congress from the Eleventh Pennsylvania District, in one of its most hotly-contested political battles, receiving 8211 votes, against 8116 for the Republican, 5173 for the Greenback, and 4345 for the Independent Democratic candidate.  On his re-election for the succeeding term (Forty-seventh Session), he received a majority of 8347, instead of 95, as in the preceding campaign.  As a congressman he was bold, practical, and industrious, more of a worker than a speaker, and respected for his sound, practical views.  He was on the Committee on Mines and Mining, having in their charge the mineral developments of the great West; also for four years on the Committee of District of Columbia, one of the most important, and hence most laborious, committees in Congress, his well-know characteristics of industry, practicability, and unswerving fidelity being the inducements to his appointment thereon.


Mr. Klotz was in 1849 married to Miss Sallie A., daughter of Col. John Lentz and his wife, Mary Loesser, of Carbon County.  They have one child, a son, Lentz Edmund, who is married to Miss Emma E., daughter of Hon. Joseph Laubauch, of Bethlehem, Pa., and resides in Mauch Chunk.  Their son is Robert Klotz.










The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,


Alfred Mathews & Austin N. Hungerford

Published in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1884


Transcribed from the original in May, 2003


Susan Gilkeson Sterling


Web page by

Jack Sterling

May 2003