Honoring Centennial Farms in DeKalb County
Original Date of Purchase: 1875, 1880, 1885
Current Owners: Ronald Klein Trust & Irene Klein Family
An immigrant from Germany, Theodore Klein came to America in 1853. He purchased his first farm (originally 3 farms) in 1875 for $35 per acre from R.P. McDole. This farm consisted of 240 acres in Section 35 of Pierce Township. There is a creek running through the farm which was desirable to him because he bought, sold and raised livestock.
In 1880, Theodore purchased an adjoining 80-acres from George Kuter. In 1885, he purchased an adjacent 120-acre parcel also for $35 an acre. He borrowed money from Jacob Haish who had a bank in DeKalb and who was one of the inventors of barbed wire.
Theodore died in 1895 and was survived by his wife and six children. The six children retained the farms in the Klein Estate until 1978 when the last surviving child died at the age of 102.
Theodore’s son, Frank and his wife Hazel, moved on the 240-acre farm in 1939 and rented the farms in shares with family members. To settle the family’s estate, Frank purchased 200 acres for $2,000 an acre and 240 acres for $2,850 per acre in 1978. Then Frank’s family divided up the farmland with purchases – Frank with 240 acres, son, Roger, with 80 acres, and son, Ronald, with 120 acres.
A few years later when Frank died, Roger and Ronald bought out their sister’s share of the inherited farmland. Roger then owned 228 acres and Ronald owned 208 acres. In 1991, Ronald purchased an additional 65 acres which brings the total family farmland to about 500 acres.