Historic Information About the Kline Family:
From WPA Historical Record, Benton Co., OR, Mark Phinney – “Miss Pauline Kline. Miss Kline was seen at her residence (the old Kline home) at Eighth and Harrison Streets. She declined to be interviewed formally, but in an informal chat she gave much valuable information. This follows: ‘My father was a Polish Jew and mother was a Russian Jew. They came to Corvallis about 1864. Mother could not read or write, but she was anxious that her children should have an education. Almost the first thing she noticed in Corvallis was the schoolhouse, and when father suggested it might be better to go on to Monroe, she answered, “I am going to stay here and send my children to school.”
‘Father was a tailor. He had a sewing machine (the first that ever came to Corvallis) and a few bolts of goods. He would sell the goods or make them up into suits. He announced that if a woman bought goods for trousers for her men folks he would cut the garments out. The shop was on Second Avenue and for four years we lived in a shack in the rear. On one side was a saloon with a dance hall over it. Here the miners coming from the south with their bags of gold dust would stop for such entertainment as the place afforded. We never felt sure when we went to bed at night that we would not be dead by violence before morning. Father’s business prospered and after four years he built a house on North Second Street.’
‘I got my schooling in the public schools of Corvallis and in the old Corvallis College. For finishing, I was sent for a year or two to the Sister’s School in Portland. Among other things I was taught music and needlework. French was taught to those who wanted it (Miss Kline showed examples of her work that show a high degree of skill and much painstaking care.)’
‘When father first came to this country, he got a job in New York City. In a short time a strike was called and he went out with the others. After a time, he found out the wives of the older men in the factory were secretly carrying work home which their men did and received pay while others were on strike. The young men were being made the goats. Father would never strike again. He always told his children, “If you are not satisfied with your job, quit it; but while you hold your job, give honest service.”‘
‘Father allowed his children to go to Sunday School at one of the churches. He was willing for them to be left to make their own choice of religion when they grew older. When we won testaments for certain work in Sunday School, he made us take them back, but afterwards said that action was narrow-minded and hasty.’
‘Father had all his life the Copy of Shakespeare and an English translation of Les Miserables from which he learned the language. He always persevered until he found the best word to express the idea he had.’
‘The world is getting too lax, – lax in marriage relations, lax in ideas of personal responsibility, in social honesty. Men do not keep their business commitments. Some accuse me of being hard with debtors. I am not hard, but I do try to teach them to pay according to agreement.’
Albany Directory listed L. Kline, dealer in Dry Goods, Fancy Goods, Millinery and Gents Furnishing Goods. Albany, Oregon.
Gazette-Times, Saturday, 29 July, 1939 p. 8:1 – Funeral for Miss Pauline Kline to Be Saturday Morning. In the home that had originally belonged to her parents, early Corvallis pioneers, Miss Pauline Kline passed away some time Wednesday evening, following a brief illness. She was found about 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon by friends in the neighborhood who had missed her through the morning hours and had gone to the home to investigate.
Miss Kline had been frail for several years and had had a companion with her for a time, but recently had appeared much better and had remained alone in her North Eighth street home.
Born May 12, 1860, Miss Kline was but four years of age when her parents, Lewis G. and Adeline Kline, came with their family from Cincinnati, Ohio, to locate in Corvallis. During that year, her father opened a general merchandise store in the block north of Berman’s drug store, the original store being on or near the site of Rondeau’s shop. Later he erected a store on the present Model Clothing store site and then moved across the street to occupy modern quarters in the Kline block. With the exception of the trips east and the years spent in Portland at Marylhurst college, Miss Kline had spent all of her life in Corvallis. She had attended schools here and engaged in varied activities, giving much time to her parents in their later years. She had given unlimited time and financial aid to relief programs of the city and county, and had devoted years to office in the Rebekah order, filling all offices in the local chapter and serving in 1898 as president of the Rebekah Assembly of Oregon. She held membership in the Corvallis Women’s club, the Tuesday Reading club, the old Shakespeare club and other local organizations.
Miss Kline was the last surviving member of her family which included a sister, Miss Sarah Kline (Mrs. Sarah Rosenthal), who passed away a number of years ago, and two brothers, M.L. Kline, Portland merchant for years, and Simon L. Kline, who succeeded his father in the Corvallis store. The survivors are Edgar L. Kline of Oswego, and Walter Hill Kline of Corvallis, nephews.
The remains rest in the Hollingsworth funeral home. The funeral service is to be held at 10 o’clock Saturday morning in Mayflower chapel, with Rev. Edward Johnston Harper officiating. Internment will be in the family plot at Albany.
(from copy of a paper collected, research of D. Froehlich)
United States Department of the Interior Heritage Conservation and Recreation Services. National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Kline, Lewis G., House, Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon. Period – 1800-1899, Areas of significance – architecture, commerce
“The house built for local mercantilist and Polish emigre Lewis G. Klinein 1884 is one of two outstanding houses in the Italian Bracketted Style remaining in Corvallis and Benton County. Is is similar in quality of craftsmanship and detail to the J.R. Bryson House (1882), which was entered in to the National Register in 1979, and it is believed that the same contractor was responsible for both houses. (Construction of the Bryson House has been tentatively attributed to local carpenter-builder Joseph Emerick.) Lewis Kline arrived with his family in Corvallis is 1864 and established himself in the tailoring trade. He later founded L.G. Kline and Company, a dry-goods store which continued under the management of his descendents until 1954. The house built for Kline two years before his retirement from business life was occupied by Kline descendents for another fifty years following his death in 1900. It embodies the distinctive characteristics of the Italianate Style and while it has sustained some minor, reversible alterations, it possesses integrity of location, design, materials, workmanship, and feeling. Moreover, it is significant to Corvallis as the only remaining direct link among buildings to the earliest generation of a distinguished mercantile family.
Lewis G. Kline (1828-1900), a Polish Jew, emigrated to the United States and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1864, he and his wife, Adeline – a Russian Jew, and their children sailed for Oregon, crossing the Isthmus of Panama. Kline had learned the English language by reading Shakespeare’s works and Les Miserables. His wife had little education and was determined that their children should be educated. Together they arrived in Corvallis on the Willamette River with a sewing machine and a few bolts of cloth and set up their tailoring shop. For four years the family lived in a shanty behind the shop on Second Street. Kline’s daughter Pauline, later recalled, ((see story above))…
As business prospered, the shop expanded to become L.G. Kline and Company, and Kline served as the Wells Fargo agent. Kline retired from business life in 1886, two years after completion of his fashionable new house. Just as they had succeeded to the long-lived family store, Kline’s son, grandson, and great grandson in turn fell heir to the house. Upon his death in 1900, Kline was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Albany.
Lewis Kline’s son, Simon L. Kline (1866-1909), took over management of the dry goods store upon his father’s retirement. According to the biographical note contained in Carey’s History of Oregon (1922), he not only figured prominently in commercial circles but in state politics as well. “He was mentioned as a candidate for the office of governor of Oregon and he served as a delegate-at-large to the national convention which nominated Theodore Roosevelt for president of the United States. He was also one of 40 who were selected to act as aides at the inaugural ball held in honor of President William H. Taft.” On the local scene, “…he served as a member of the city council and as a member of the board of water commissioners, in which connection he was instrumental in securing for Corvallis a water supply from Mary’s Peak, a distance of fourteen miles from the city. When the plant was first installed, service was given to five hundred people…” The system was later expanded to serve the cities of Philomath and Corvallis, rural users along the route, and Oregon Agricultural College with its several thousand students.
Walter H. Kline succeeded his father, Simon L. Kline, as manager of the family business upon the latter’s death in 1909. Born in Corvallis in 1886, and educated in the local public schools, he completed a three-year course at San Francisco business college. In 1908, he and his father erected a new two-story building measuring 75 x 100 feet for what was then known as Kline’s Department Store. By 1922, Walter Kline had added a two-story, 55 x 100-foot addition adjoining the main store and he operated a brokerage business in wool, cascara bark and mohair.
The last member of the Kline family to be associated with the enterprise was Sidney L. Kline. It was he who sold what was by then Kline’s Women’s Fashions and the house on NW 8th Street in 1954, thus ending a 90-year continuum in community life.
(from the archives of Albany Regional Museum)
Lewis Kline 1828 – 1900
Relationship: Husband to Adaline
Stone and Base Material: Granite
Iconography: Handshake, Three link chain with FLT.
Adaline L. Kline 1832 – 1899
Inscription: In Loving Commemoration of Our Beloved Mother, Adaline L. Kline. Born Koupland Russia, Sept 28, 1832, Died Sept. 3, 1899. Rest and Peace Be Yours
Stone and Base Material: granite
Paulina Kline 1860 – July 26, 1939
Relationship: Daughter of Adeline and Lewis Kline
Stone and Base Material: Granite
Iconography: dove with broken chain, half moon to right of dove, 3 chain link (vertical)to left of dove.
Sarah Rosenthal 1856 – 1884
Relationship: Daughter of Adaline and Lewis Kline See “Rosenthal” page.
Infant Kline – Note that the actual remains of this infant were exhumed from Albany Hebrew Cemetery, and moved to California to be near other family; as were the remains of Simon and Emma Kline. It is likely that this stone could not be found at the time of the move, and so an identical one was constructed at the new burial site.
Relationship: Infant son of Lewis Kline’s brother, Simon L. Kline
Inscription: Infant son of Simon L and Emma T Kline. Died March 9, 1897
Iconography: Sextant or quarter compass?