Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


GEORGE KNELLE. There have come to the United States, from the German Empire and other alien lands, men of limited financial resources, but imbued with sturdy independence and a laudable ambition to succeed, and who have taken advantage of the wonderful possibilities afforded here. Gradually, step by step, they have risen to places of prominence in various lines of activity. Of these there can be none mentioned who deserves more favorable attention than George Knelle, for a period of thirty-three years one of Springfield's progressive business men and substantial citizens, and who having by his thrift gained a handsome competency, is now living retired in one of the most attractive Modern homes in the Oueen City.

Mr. Knelle was born in southern Germany, March 13, 1852, and is a son of John and Katherine (Wagner) Knelle, both natives of Germany, the father's birth occurring April 14, 1822, and he died April 1, 1913, reaching an advanced age; the mother was born in 1824, and died in 1887. They grew up in their native locality and received a limited education and were married and there devoted their lives to farming. They were always noted for their industry, honesty and neighborliness. To them five children were born, three of whom are still living, namely: William, deceased; George of this review; John is deceased; Peter and Charlie, of Kansas City. The parents never left the community where they were born, being contented to spend their lives on their native hills.

George Knelle grew to manhood in Germany, assisted his father with the general work on the farm when a boy, and there received his education in the common schools, and he learned the butcher's trade when a young man which he followed until he was nearly thirty years of age immigrating to the United States in February, 1881. He came to Cincinnati, Ohio where he remained awhile, then came on to St. Louis, but on August 21st of the year of his arrival in the New World he established his permanent home in Springfield and this has been the arena of his operations ever since. He at once launched out in the butcher business, and on November 15, 1882, located his shop on East Commercial street, renting a building at first, but as he prospered, purchased the building and continued to enlarge and equip his shop until he had one of the best in southwest Missouri, and he was the oldest butcher on the north side, if not in all Springfield, and for more than a quarter of a century has been widely known in his vocation. He purchased twelve and one-half acres just south of Doling Park, and on this land maintained his slaughter pens and houses and other necessary buildings, and always did his own butchering. His business grew with advancing years until it assumed very large proportions, and on January 1, 1911, Mr. Knelle sold out and retired from active life; however, he still owns his property on the north side. In July of that year he started building his magnificent home at 600 South National Boulevard. It is of pressed brick, colonial style of architecture, contains fourteen rooms and is modern in all its appointments, a home that would be a credit to any city, and thus surrounded by every comfort and convenience as a result of his former years of industry, he is spending the latter years of his life in a deserved respite from life's toil and fret.

Mr. Knelle was married on February 2, 1908, to Sarah E. Gott, who was born in Mississippi on April 29, 1860.

Politically, Mr. Knelle is an independent voter. Fraternally, he belongs to the Knights of Pythias, and religiously is a member of the German Lutheran church. Personally he is a genial, obliging, hospitable gentleman, uniformly courteous and noted for his scrupulous honesty.

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