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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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REV. CHARLES KLOCKE, rector of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church at Du Quoin, was born in the parish of Marienmunster, diocese of Paderborn, Westphalia, Germany, April 15, 1841. His father, John Klocke, was one of the very wealthy farmers of that locality, and his house was one of the finest in all Westphalia. Sturdy oaks spread their branches over the beautiful residence, and the scenery was of that grandeur that must be seen to be appreciated. The owner of this fine estate was no ordinary man, but a high-minded, cultured, liberal-hearted gentleman. His generosity to the poor and oppressed gave him the name of “the father of the poor,” by which he was known far and near. In fact, his large fortune and the profits of his estate were devoted to the needs of the destitute. No worthy hand was ever stretched out to him that was taken away empty.

The demise of this philanthropist, which occurred at the age of fifty-six years, was the first death in a large family for forty-two years, and when he passed away he was mourned by none more than by the poor whom he had befriended. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Catherine Bupe, was a kind, good woman; she died some ten years after the death of her husband. Father Klocke was the seventh son and the youngest child of ten children, and is the only one of the number who left Germany. The others, remaining in their native land, were principally farmers, and were very successful.

Father Klocke spent his boyhood days on his father’s estate, surrounded by all the comforts wealth can bring. While attending the parochial schools, and while meditating under the shadows of the wide-spreading oaks, endeavoring to decide in his own mind what he would choose for his life work, he doubtless thought of the many advantages he would have if he adopted business pursuits or one of the professions. Therefore it may seem strange that of all the occupations presenting themselves to his attention he should select the priesthood, with its attending hardships and cares. But even in boyhood the predominant question with him was, “What can I do for the greatest good of my fellow-men?” His decision was that his life work should be in the church.

Attending the parochial schools until the age of fourteen years, Father Klocke then studied with the parish priest, and when seventeen years of age he entered the gymnasium of Paderborn, one of the most noted institutions of learning in that section of the country, and situated about thirty miles from his home. He passed a most thorough examination for the fifth class, which was far in advance of his age, but the authorities, deciding that it would be a bad precedent to advance him even though he was qualified, put him back in the fourth class. After four months he found that he could not advance rapidly enough to suit himself, and acting upon the advice of some of the old professors, he decided to present himself at the gymnasium at Beelan for examination in the sixth class, which was still further in advance of his age. First, however, he spent one month in the fifth class and passed to the sixth.

Some jealousy existed among the other students, as well as among a number of the professors in the gymnasium at Paderborn, on account of our subject having left the latter place. It was also against the rules of the different schools that a student should be admitted to one from another. But a more serious trouble was to confront him, for charges were preferred against him for leaving the other institution without paying his tuition. If this were proved true he would be expelled and could never become a priest. He was summoned before the faculty and confronted with the charges. Though he protested his innocence, his word would not be taken as against the professors of the leading educational institution in the land. He was told that he must prove beyond a question of doubt that he had paid it. He remembered having taken a receipt for the amount when paid, but had he kept it? This was his only hope, and he stated it to the faculty. They told him to produce the receipt and that quickly, or he would be discharged in disgrace. Hastening to his room, to his great joy he found the receipt and in triumph returned and presented it. This was conclusive and revealed the fact of a plot against him.

In that institution Father Klocke continued his studies until 1864. At that time the present Bishop of Belleville, John Janssen, then secretary to the Rt.-Rev. Bishop Junken, of Alton, was in Europe for the purpose of getting missionaries to come over to the American frontiers. Deciding that he could do more good in this country, Father Klocke, with eight others, crossed the Atlantic, after which he spent one year in the study of theology and philology at St. Joseph’s, of Teutopolis. Ill., and in September of 1865 entered a seminary in Montreal, Canada, where after three full years of study his education was completed.

In 1868 Father Klocke was ordained as a priest and shortly afterward celebrated his first mass in the Church of the Holy Redeemer on Third Street in New York City, after which he was with the Rt.-Rev. Bishop Junken, at Alton, until September 26 of the same year. He was then sent to Du Quoin to take charge of the little church at this place and the missions in this section, including all of the territory on the Illinois Central Railroad from Cairo to Effingham. Though the field was large, there were within its limits at that time but seventy-eight families. The church at Du Quoin was a poor affair and did not even have a roof over it. Southern Illinois was not well settled or developed in those early days and Father Klocke endured many hardships in making the rounds of the various missions. Often he was called to the bedside of the sick in the middle of the night, frequently traveling for miles in a lumber wagon in the midst of a drenching rain.

During the quarter of a century that Father Klocke has been in the field, the work has grown, so that the territory once under his sole supervision now has twelve priests and thousands of families. Much of this is due to his indefatigable energy and perseverance. The church at Du Quoin was twice destroyed by storms. The foundation for the present fine structure was laid July 1, 1889, by the Rt.-Rev. Bishop Janssen, of Belleville, in the presence of more than twenty priests. The new edifice was built at a cost of $24,000 and is called the “Gem of Southern Illinois,” being one of the finest structures in this part of the state. The school and other property cost $12,000. The church was dedicated November 5, 1890. The school was finished in October, 1892, and dedicated December 5 of that year.

The twenty-fifth anniversary of Father Klocke’s ministerial life was celebrated June 21, 1893, not only by Catholics, but also by Protestants as well. The people upon that occasion deemed it a pleasure and a privilege to do honor to the man who in his plain, unassuming way has done so much good in their midst. It is the wish of all that the Father may live to celebrate with his people his golden jubilee.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Perry County, Illinois family biographies here: Perry County, Illinois Biographies

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