Presented by Linda Fluharty.

     Perhaps John Kraft was the John George Kraft whose naturalization declaration was recorded in Ohio County, (West) Virginia in 1844. It is known that he came to Wheeling in 1835 with his wife, Caroline Klieves, whom he had married in Amt (District) Menober/Nienober, Kingdom of Hanover, Germany on the 27th day of April 1834. This place, Nienober, was not found but is possibly a town "Nienburg" at the river "Weser", very next to Hannover, probably part of the Kingdom of Hannover at that time, nowadays part of Lower Saxony.

1850 Census, Ohio County, (W) Va.
KRAFT, John, 39, Carpenter, $2000, b Germany
Caroline, 42, b Germany
Theodore, 19, Grocer, b Germany
William, 16, Student, b Va
Albert, 13, b Va
Lewis, 12, b Va
Levinia, 9, b Va
Mary E., 6, Va
Ami, 2, b Va

1860 Census, Ohio County, (W) Va.
#2875/2993 - All listed as b Germany but they were not
KRAFT, John, 50, Carpenter, b Germany
Caroline, 52, b Germany
Theodore, 27, Grocer, b Germany
William, 24, Druggist
Albert, 22, Druggist
Lewis, 21, Machinist
Serena? (Levenia), 19 (William B. Odbert married Levinia Kraft 15 Sep 1863 in Ohio Co)
Mary, 17
Amelia, 10

     John Kraft served as a Sergeant in the Independent Exempts Infantry. As stated in History of the Pan-Handle, West Virginia, the organization was a body of infantry consisting of two organizations styled Company A and Company B, which had no regimental connection. They were made up of men enlisted in the Northern Panhandle, who were stationed at Wheeling throughout the war as city guards or, more strictly speaking, Capitol Guards, for Wheeling was not only the seat of the Restored Government, but the capital of West Virginia after the admission of the State into the Union. These two companies were on duty during the entire Civil War period, and were not required to perform other military service.

     John Kraft died at home in Wheeling on 11 April 1864, after contracting pneumonia while in the service of the U.S.

     A number of Kraft and Klieve men served in the State Militias of Ohio County, as well as in some of the regular regiments of West Virginia. Albert, William, Lewis, Charles, and Augustus, possibly John Kraft's relatives, served in the latter but have not been researched.      The following declaration was given by Caroline Kraft in her pension application, dated 18 Feb 1875:

The State of West Virginia, County of Ohio}
On this 18th day of February 1875, before me Samuel B. McColloch, clerk of court for and within said county & state, personally appeared Mrs. Caroline Craft (sic) of lawful age, a resident of Wheeling, Ohio County West Virginia, who being by me duly sworn deposeth as follows, that she is the widow of John Craft (sic) decd, who was a 1st Sergt of Co "A" of the Indpt Exempts WVa Infty Vols, in the war of 1861, that her maiden name was Catharine Kleives (sic) that she was lawfully married to the said JOHN CRAFT (sic) at Kingdom of Hanover in the county of Amph Nienober Germany by Rev. Benerman on the 29th day of April AD, 1834. That it is impossible to obtain a copy of the record of her said marriage, and that she cannot obtain the the affidavit of the party who performed the marriage ceremony because she does not know his wehreabouts, that she lived and cohabited with her said husband from the date of her marriage up to the date of his death, that the best evidence of her marriage is that of persons who was present at the date of her said marriage which is now herewith filed and further she saith not.


Also at the same time and place personally appeared WILLIAM KLEIVES (sic) and C. C. Kraft of lawful age and residents of Wheeling, Ohio County West Virginia, who being by me duly sworn do severally say that they have known the claimant Mrs. Caroline Craft (sic) and her decd husband JOHN CRAFT (sic) for 45 years, and that they were present and saw claimant and her decd husband married - that her maiden name was CAROLINE KLEIVES (sic) and they were married at Kingdom of Hanover in the county of Amp Menober (sic) and State of Germany on the 27th day of April AD 1834 by Rev Benarmann that deceased always treated amd acknowledged claimant as his lawful wife, and they lived and cohabited together as such and were so received in society and they never heard the fact of the marriage called in question. That they resided in Germany about one year after they were married when they removed to the US - that they came to Wheeling in 1835 and they know that they always lived and cohabited togetherafter this marriage as aforesaid up to the date of the death of the said husband all of which they know from then our certain knowledge and acquaintance - that they reside as before stated and have no interest in this claim.


1870 Census, Ohio County, (W) Va.
KRAFT, Caroline, 63, b Bremen
Lewis, 29, Oil Merchant, $500, b Va
Mary E., 24, At home, b Va
Amelia, 18, At home, b Va
BALL, Madison, Merchant, 35, b Va
DAVIS, John, 30, Clerk in store, b Ohio
HOLLIDAY, Saml, 31, Carpenter, b Pa
HUBBARD, Marion, 30, Clerk in Store, b Conn
HUBBARD, George, 33, Clerk in Store, b Conn
VANFOSSEN, Nathan, 27, Clerk in Store, b Pa
FINNY, Thomas, 32, Druggist, b Pa
WILLIAMS, Hudson, 17, Clerk in Store, b Va
NICHOLL, James, 18, App. Tinner, b Va

     Nathan Van Fossen married Amelia R. Kraft 14 Feb 1871 in Ohio County, W. Va. [Bk 10, pg18]. Amelia had received a government pension following her father's death because she was under the age of 16 until 5 Sep 1868.

     History books of the Wheeling area include biographies of both Klieves and Kraft individuals, who were related to John and Caroline (Klieves) Kraft.

     Caroline (Klieves) Kraft had received a pension of $12 per month. She was dropped from the rolls because of her death 4 Mar 1889.


by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.

     C. C. KRAFT is treasurer of the Klieves-Kraft Company, which operates a large planing mill, and is extensively engaged in contracting and building. It is the oldest concern of the kind in the city, having been established in 1868. C. C. Kraft was born in 1826 in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, and is a son of GEORGE FREDERICK KRAFT, who brought his family to America in 1834. The latter was a farmer by occupation, and after one year in Wheeling removed to the western part of Ohio, where he died in 1854. C. C. Kraft remained on the farm about five years, then returned to Wheeling in 1840, and attended school for a time. He then served an apprenticeship to the trade of a cabinetmaker with Jeremiah Clemens, a pioneer of this city. After serving out four years of apprenticeship he worked for Mr. Clemens two years, but on account of indoor work being injurious to his health he took up carpentering, and still later contracting. He first became associated with Mr. Klieves about 1865, and in 1868 they established the Klieves-Kraft Company, erecting a small plant as a supplement to their contracting business, at their present location on Eoff street, between Twenty-second and Twenty-third streets. At first they employed eight men, and now 33 men, although the number would be four times as great were it not for the introduction of labor-saving machines and general improvements. The dimensions of the plant are 100 by 100 feet, and it is equipped with all modern improvements and facilities for carrying on the work. In 1891 the company was incorporated as the Klieves-Kraft Company, with the following officers: Bernard Klieves, president; C. C. Kraft, treasurer; and F. B. Klieves, secretary. The business is actively managed by the president and treasurer, and is the oldest concern of the kind in the city. Mr. Kraft was united in marriage with Caroline Smith, and they have spent more than fifty-one happy years of married life together. There is but three months' difference in their ages. She was born in Saxony, Germany, and came to this country with her parents at the age of eight years. Four sons and four daughters where born to them, - three of the sons being dead. The living children are: S. H., who is with the Palace Furniture Company; Gertrude; Ellen; Julia; and May. The family residence is on the Island, where it has been for the past twenty-three years. Politically Mr. Kraft's last vote as a Democrat was for James Buchanan. His next vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln, and he has since been a Republican, but by choice he has refrained from official life. Although he did not serve in the army, he was with the militia organizations that helped to chase Morgan about Ohio. Fraternally, he is a member of Virginus Lodge, No. 2, I. O. O. F., the oldest in the state. He is interested in the German Bank of Wheeling and the Dollar Savings Bank. Religiously, he favors the Luthern Evangelical church.

From "HISTORY OF THE UPPER OHIO VALLEY," Vol. I. Brant & Fuller, 1890.

CHARLES C. KRAFT, of the firm of Klieves, Kraft & Co., was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, May 30, 1826. In 1834 his father, GEORGE F. KRAFT, came to the United States with his family, and landing at Baltimore came directly to Wheeling. A year later, however, he removed to Ohio, and settled on a farm in the western part of Hardin county, which was his place of residence until his death in 1858, in his eightieth year. When he went to provide a home in Ohio, he left his wife at Wheeling until the house was prepared for the family, but it was destined that she should never join him, and she died at Wheeling in 1836. To those parents four sons and two daughters were born, but two of whom are now living, Charles C., and Mrs. Caroline Schrader, of Hardin county, Ohio. Mr. Charles C. Kraft remained on the Ohio farm until 1840, and then returned to Wheeling. Thereafter attending school for a time he began apprenticeship at the trade of cabinet-making, with Jeremiah Clemens, one of the pioneers at Wheeling in that branch of industry. Mr. Kraft worked at his trade until 1864, when he formed a partnership with Bernhard Klieves, the two opening a shop of their own. In 1868 a partnership was formed in which William Klieves and Theodore Klieves were additional members, and this firm engaged in the planing-mill business, under-the firm title above referred to. In 1877 William Klieves retired and three years later E. W. Wells entered the firm. Mr. Kraft has had in Wheeling an honorable and successful career, which, beginning in adversity, has, thanks to his perseverance and industry, been crowned with success financially, and the esteem of his fellow citizens. When he came to Wheeling in 1840 he trudged the distance of 200 miles on foot, his possessions in a bundle on his back. Now, in addition to the interest above named, he is a stockholder in various enterprises, among which are the German bank, the Dollar Savings bank, the Wheeling & Belmont Bridge company, and the Elson Glass works, of Martin's Ferry. Mr. Kraft was married in 1849 to Caroline Smith, of Wheeling, and they have had four sons and four daughters, of whom survive the daughters and one son.

     KLIEVES, KRAFT & COMPANY, proprietors of the Central Planing-mills, is one of the most enterprising firms of the city, and has been in successful existence for about a quarter of a century. The works cover an area of about 250x160 feet, and an extensive lumber business is done. The firm also stands at the head of the contracting and building business of Wheeling; and Washington hall, the Reilly block, among many other business buildings, and such residences, as those of A. W. Kelly, G. E. Stifel, Dr. Hazlett, A. W. Paull and other elegant structures, testify to the efficiency of the firm in that particular. The firm is composed of Theodore Klieves, Bernhard Klieves, C. C. Kraft and E. W. Wells.

     CHARLES ADDISON KLIEVES, an enterprising young business man of Wheeling, is a native of that city, born June 5, 1864. He is the son of WILLIAM H. KLIEVES, a well-known contractor, since retired, of the city. When twelve years old, Mr. Klieves accompanied his parents to Tiltonville, Ohio, and at the age of sixteen years he took a position as book-keeper for the Ohio & Pennsylvania Coal company, at Yorkville, Ohio, and was engaged in that capacity for a year and a half. Returning to Wheeling at eighteen years old he entered the employment of John H. Diehl, a retail grocer, whom, on March 17, 1887, he succeeded in the proprietorship of the business. He has since devoted himself energetically to this branch of trade, and is gaining a conspicuous place among the retailers of the city. Socially Mr. Klieves is quite popular, and he is an active member of the National Union and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

     THEODORE C. KLIEVES, one of the above named firm, was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, November 16, 1827. When in his nineteenth year he decided to seek his fortune in the new world, and on June 22, 1846, he and a sister, reached Wheeling, having come here directly from their native land. Subsequently his father and the remainder of the family, except the mother, who died in Germany, came to the United States, stopped for a time at Wheeling, afterward went to Washington, Penn., where he resided with his daughter until his death. Before leaving the old country, Theodore Klieves learned the trade of carpentry and cabinet-making, and upon his arrival at Wheeling he found employment with John Kraft and his cousin William Klieves, who were then in partnership. About the year 1855 he began business for himself and carried on carpentry, contracting and building until 1868 independently, at the latter date becoming a member of the firm of Klieves, Kraft & Co., as above stated, and he has since been connected with this firm. Mr. Klieves is a public- spirited and valuable citizen of Wheeling, and possesses the esteem of the community. He is a stockholder in various enterprises outside of the well-known firm with which he is connected, among which maybe mentioned the German bank, the German insurance company of Wheeling, and the Elson Glass works, of Martin's Ferry. He was married in 1854, to Emma Koch, who is a native of Hanover, but came to America with her parents when only one year of age. They have four children.

     BERNHARD KLIEVES, of Wheeling, is well known as one of the men who has taken an active and prominent part in the advancement of the city. He was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, March 2, 1836, one of eleven children of PHILIP KLIEVES and wife. The father was a cabinet-maker and carpenter by trade. The mother died in 1839, and a year later three of the children came to the United States. In 1852 two others came, and in 1858 the father and five children, including Bernhard, removed to the United States, coming directly to Wheeling. Here his two brothers were then engaged in contracting, and he found employment with them until about 1862, when he went to Preston county, W. Va. He remained at the latter place about two years, and upon his return to Wheeling formed a partnership with William and Theodore Klieves, his brothers, and engaged in the planing-mill business, they founding the Central planing-mills, with the firm name of Klieves, Kraft & Co. In 1877 William Klieves retired from the business, and it was carried on by the three remaining partners until 1880, when E. W. Wells was admitted as a partner. The firm name remains as at first, Klieves, Kraft & Co. This is one of the leading establishments in the department of manufacture, and the firm does also an extensive business in contracting and building, and is widely known as one of the most prosperous and enterprising firms of the city. The outside business of the firm and the buying of materials is under the charge of the subject of this mention. Mr. Klieves has also devoted much time to other enterprises calculated to advance the interests of the city. He is a director of the Dollar Savings bank, of Virginia, a stockholder in the German bank, a director of the Elson Glass works, of Martin's Ferry, and a stockholder in the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge company. His career, the importance of which may be inferred from these brief statements of facts, was begun without capital and assistance from others, and his success has been achieved by his own efforts and talent for affairs. Mr. Klieves was married in 1864 to Melosena Kenamond, a native of Hanover, Germany, who came to the United States in 1852. They have two sons, Frank and Archie.