Emile Klein Family History

Young Emile

Young Emile

Emile Emery Klein was born in France on March 5, 1880. According to naturalization records, he came to the United States on August 14, 1887. Emile was the eldest son of Pierre and Marie Justine Klein.

Emile was physically the strongman of the family. He did all the heavy work around the farm. When he was grown, he was also the tallest, being 6'1". Emile used to break horses, play baseball, loved amusements and was a good dancer. His brother, Henry, described him as, "peaceful, always happy, and always ready to laugh." All the boys worked on the Pierre Klein family farm before they left home to work on their own, and he was no exception. His first job off the family farm was that of hired hand on another nearby farm. Later, he took a job as pumper (steam pumping water out of No. 5 coal mine northeast of Pittsburg, Kansas), became a mule driver in No. 7 mine southeast of Frontenac, Kansas, dug coal, and was elected by the mine workers as check weighman at No. 9 mine northeast of Frontenac on one corner of his parents' farm property.

Emile married Alice Ann Brown in Girard, KS in 1908. Her family had a farm on the Free King Highway near Frontenac. They had two sons: Gene, born January 27, 1907, and Paul, born September 18, 1912. Paul was known as "Bunny".

Emile, along with his brothers, Camile, Henry, and John purchased a mine called "Big Six Coal Company, Mine No. 1. On June 21, 1922, a rock fell on him. His back was bruised and his left leg was badly broken. The brothers sold the mine after the incident.

After coal mining shut down in Kansas, the family moved to Detroit in 1929 where he built automobile bodies for Ford and other cars at Briggs Body Works.

Emile, Alice, Bunny, Gene

Emile and Alice
Bunny and Gene

He died May 9, 1953 at the age of 73. The primary cause of death was rheumatic heart disease. His wife died several years later and is buried beside him in Detroit.

Alice Brown was born November 22, 1881 and died June 21, 1960.

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