The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Friedrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Klopp (1879-1952) – Part III

3

On a Special Mission to the United States of America

Klopp Family Tree  (Chart I – II)

Chicago fbcoverstreet com

Chicago around the turn of the century – Photo credit: fbcoverstreet.com

It cannot be stated with certainty whether Ferdinand’s father kicked his son out of the house or whether Mother Emma sent him on a special mission to the USA. In 1900 Ferdinand arrived there and spent almost five years in Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. Ferdinand’s job was to research the market for the usefulness of American varieties of flour and to arrange for their purchase and export to Wolmirstedt, Germany. The mission appears to coincide with the planned acquisition of the water mill at Zielitz. Widow Emma was perhaps calculating improved marketing chances for her business.

Old_South_Church,_Boston_(Boston_Public_Library)

Boston around 1900 – Photo Credit: wikipedia.com

But Ferdinand was developing his own life plans. he became engaged to an American woman, which indicated that he may have had plans to stay in the US. But the engagement did not work out, primarily because his mother from the Old Country was pleading for his assistance. For the first time in his life ‘outcast’ Ferdinand was needed on the home front.

Philadelphia joesherlock com

Philadelphia around 1905 – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

He now saw himself in the role of a “savior in times of need”, returned from the US and acted accordingly at the Wolmirstedt house in June, 1905. The relations with his eldest brother Friedrich worsened and soon reached the boiling point resulting in a state of constant enmity between the two brothers and their families. Incapable of carrying on with the rope making business in this poisoned atmosphere, Ferdinand reluctantly or rather craftily passed on the factory to his brother. He did this without being clear about the ownership question with regard to the inheritance of the property. He most likely left that critical question deliberately open in collusion with Emma. When Ferdinand followed his mother to Elsenau, West Prussia (now Poland), in 1905, the property and inheritance question was left precariously hanging in the air.

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