Amazing Fertility in the Face of Death
The euphoria during the following two and a half years was almost without limits, even though P.F.W.Klopp’s milling business was on the decline. Around the time of Christmas 1884, most likely while they were still living in Magdeburg, Friedrich Klopp went about having another child. Anna, born on September 29, 1885, was the eighth child in the ever-growing Klopp family. Friedrich took his clan and moved back to Jersleben, where he found accommodation and presumably gainful employment with one of the three mill owners of his apprenticeship years. There he devoted his energies to the creation of yet another offspring and succeeded at the beginning of March 1886 in getting his wife expecting again.
Weekly Market in Today’s Magdeburg – Photo credit: magdeburg.de
At the beginning of the same month on March 5, 1886 the sickly August Otto Wilhelm passed away at the age of one year and seven months. This early childhood death points to the poor standards of hygiene in the mill environment at Jersfeld of this era and highlights the tribute, which the family had to pay at their return to their home turf. The loss was bearable and soon forgotten.
Midland Canal near Jerleben – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org
During the weeks of Emma’s mourning 33-year-old husband Friedrich provided plenty of physical comfort and warmth, the result of which excluded any fear of extinction of the male lineage in the Klopp family. Exactly nine months later on December 8, 1886, Wilhelm, the fifth son and by now the ninth child, made his entrance into the family. August Otto Wilhelm is the only Klopp child to be buried in the cemetery of the Jersleben church yard.
The Short Life of Emma’s Seventh Child
After the mill business in Olvenstedt turned out to be a complete disaster in 1893 at the very latest, P.F.W. Klopp and his wife Emma moved with their six children to Magdeburg- Neustadt. The people they dealt with, work prospects and accommodation remain a gap still to be filled in the family research. The fact is that Emma’s ninety-one year old grandfather Johann Christian Bauer of Jewish ancestry passed away on December 16, 1883 in Magdeburg-Sudenburg. What amount of inheritance he bequeathed to the Emma Klopp family can no longer be ascertained, but must have been considerable. For it secured the next six years of living expenses in Jersleben and must have formed the basis for the acquisition of a house and property in Wolmirstedt further down the road.
Bahnhof Magdeburg Neustadt – Foto: geolocation.ws
While enjoying the unexpected financial blessing, Emma was also thankfully looking forward to her seventh pregnancy. In August 1884 she bore in Magdeburg-Neustadt her fourth son (seventh child) August Otto Wilhelm. Although Emma was briefly hospitalized in and around this time, the possibility of a hospital birth in those days must be excluded. Besides Emma Klopp was of a robust physical constitution and always gave birth at home without any complications.
Remark: Every once in a while I need to remind my readers, who praise me for the research on the Klopp family, that the author of this amazing story of our ancestry is not I but Eberhard Klopp, a distant cousin of mine. After an intensive research over a period of many years in the 90’s he published the results in Germany under the title “Ein Brief an die Nachfahren der Familie Klopp aus Altendorf/Brome und Wolmirstedt“. Since many of the descendants have spread all over the North American continent and most of them no longer speak German, I endeavored to translate the relevant parts of his book into English.
Turmoil in the Parental Home at Wolmirstedt
Klopp Family Tree
Chart I – II
Around the turn of the century the rope maker’s apprentice Ferdinand Klopp turned 21 years of age. The family structure in the overcrowded house in Wolmirstedt threatened to fall apart. The business of rope making was just beginning to secure an income to feed the family. It was also quite foreseeable that the continuously expanding family would soon reach the breaking point.
Although the siblings Jula and Karl, the nineteen-year old Rosa, the eighteen-year old Alma, possibly also the fifteen-old Anna had most likely been placed elsewhere, the parents Emma and Peter Friedrich Klopp still had to care for the remaining five sons and three daughters. In addition, they had to cope with the newly-weds Friedrich, their eldest son, and Marie-Luise Klopp, who was expecting her first child. This all happened at the same time, as my grandmother Emma was expecting her 16th child, my father Ernst Klopp.
St. Joseph Church in Wolmirstedt – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org
In this tense and often emotionally charged atmosphere lack of control and anger were heaped onto the ‘Late Bloomer’ Ferdinand. His father P.F. Klopp turned violent and beat him up on several occasions. The dummy, as Ferdinand was often branded never forgave this kind of humiliation. Father Klopp in the meantime was seeking comfort through beer and schnaps in ‘Fatjes Hotel’ or in the ‘Anchor’. One night in May 1900 his alcoholic excesses cost him his life, when on his way home he fell off his horse.
A Somewhat Rocky Start
for Ferdinand Klopp
Klopp Family Tree
Chart I – II
Magdeburg – Photo Ctedit: wikipedia.org
On November 22, 1879 the fourth child was born in the house on Hemmsack Street in Osterweddingen near Magdeburg. Anyway, these houses – some still existing today- are traditionally ascribed to the dwellings of mill leasers and workers since the 19th century. Already in 1881 Ferdinand moved with his parents back to Jerslebe3n, spent three years there at the Düppler Mill and in 1885 entered the Elementary School of Wolmirstedt, the birth place of my father Ernst. In the nearby town of Jersleben, Ferdinand’s father P.W.F. Klopp had found work as miller master.
Church at Jersleben – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org
In 1893 Ferdinand was sent to Hannoversch-Münden to attend a dairy apprenticeship program. When he returned to his father’s great disappointment after only one year of training, his father forced him to work with his eldest brother Friedrich as a rope maker’s apprentice in the Wolmirstedt house. He had probably shown little interest in his work in Hannoversch-Münden and further increased the image of a good-for-nothing worker under the whip of his elder brother and rope making master Friedrich. The disrespectfully treated Ferdinand was from then on called rather degradingly clown (“Klon”).
Arial Photo of Wolmirstedt – Photo Credit: wolmirstedt.de