Klock Connections, Issue 22, May 2003

Nellis Klock Family and the Newspaper Business

Rev. Nellis Klock was born August 24, 1831 in Montgomery County, New York. He was the son of Danial J. Klock and Nancy Nellis. Rev. Nellis Klock was a Methodist Minister, a School Teacher, and a Newspaper Owner and Editor.

Nellis Klock was the founder of the Holland Sentinel in Holland, Michigan. He founded the Holland Sentinel in 1896, which is still in business today in the City of Holland. He also published another paper in Holland called the Independent, a weekly newspaper that continued until 1904. The Holland City Directory (1897 - 1898) has him listed as living at 190 E. Eight Street in Holland Michigan. The U.S. Post Office is now at that address. The City Directory lists Nellis L. Klock as publisher; Ernest G. Klock as Associate Editor; Lillian I. Klock and Ida Klock as Compositors. Nellis Klock married Lovian T. Ottman who was also born in New York. Lovian Ottman was also a schoolteacher. Nellis Klock and Lovian had five children, Jay E., John Nellis, Ernest G., Lillian I. and Ida. All were in the Newspaper Business. Nellis sold the Holland Sentinel to Roland C. Eisley, from Benton Harbor, Michigan, after two years of running the Sentinel. Nellis Klock son John Nellis Klock married Carrie Belle Eisley so I would think that Roland Eisley would have been the brother of Carrie Belle Eisley. Roland Eisley ran the paper for several years and moved the paper several times within the City of Holland. Today the Holland Sentenel, still in business is the largest newspaper in the city. It is hard to find copies of the Holland Sentenel before 1912. No complete collection of the sentinels exists before 1912. No one knows for sure, but rumors have it that the editors and early staff members burned the back copies to keep warm. Some copies of the Sentinel was found tucked away in a metal trunk in by Jan Brower in 1996. In 1909, Mrs. Brower’s father, Herman Keikenveldt, then a boy of 11, started out at the Sentinel earning $1.00 per week delivering papers. He later became a pressman. He kept the copies of the Sentinel in the old trunk.

John Nellis Klock, the son of Rev. Nellis Klock, was also a Newspaper Editor. John was born Oct. 18, 1865 in Lawrence County, New York. He founded the Stockton Harald in 1888 at the age of 22. He was the Founder of the Evening News and later the News-Palladium in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He is considered Benton Harbors the Greatest Builder. His monuments are all about the City of Benton Harbor. John Nellis Klock served as chairman of the First Congregational United Church of Christ. on the building committee when the current church building was constructed. He donated the 15-bell carillon and the E.M. Skinner organ to the church. He gave the 90-acre track of land on Lake Michigan to the city, which is known as Jean Klock Park. Named after his daughter, who died in infancy. Today Jean Klock Park is a priceless municipal possession that stretches a half-mile along Lake Michigan’s shore. He also developed Roosevelt Park, another gift to the city. He donated the funds to built a pool at the YMCA. John Nellis Klock was President of the Benton Harbor Malleable, and under his administration it became one of the city’s most prosperous industries. He was also President of the Mercy Hospital for many years where he donated the money to build a wing on the Hospital and was a one-term mayor of the city of Benton Harbor.

Jay E. Klock was the eldest son of Rev. Nellis Klock. He was born in Hammond, New York, on February 14, 1864. Jay Klock attended Albany Academy, but did not graduate. In 1885. He took a job at the Albany Evening Journal. He was a proofreader, reporter, and telegraph editor. Later he bought the Ogdensburg Signal, a local paper his father was then running. He later sold that paper and returned to the Albany Journal as an editorial writer and reporter of the state senate. He remained there until 1889, when he purchased controlling interest in the Daily Times, a paper of political independence in Little Falls, New York. Then in 1891 he purchased the Kingston Daily Freeman, the Republican official paper of Ulster County. Jay Klock left a sum of money, which the Key Bank in New York now administrates. The income from the funds is used exclusively for grants for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ Camp Life, Civil War Collections from Gettysburg National Military Park


We have all heard the song, “Taps.” It is a haunting tune that brings pride in our hearts and tears to our eyes. Because of the war in Iraq, we will here taps all too often as they lay to rest our young, brave men and women who fought gallantly in the Armed Forces in Iraq.

I had never heard the story of how the song “Taps”, orientated or the words to the song. I received an e-mail from a friend today that I thought I would share with you.

The story goes like this.

It all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain, Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his own life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his Encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the young soldier had died. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, sad and heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked him to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead son’s uniform. This wish was granted. The bugler played the melody we now know as “Taps”. This melody is now used at all military funerals.

The words to the song:

Day is done…. Gone the sun…. From the lakes… From the sky… All is well…
Safely rest… God is nigh… Fading light…Dims the sight… And a star…
Gems the sky…Gleaming bright…From afar…Drawing nigh… Falls the night…Thanks and praise…For our days… Neath the sun…Neath the stars… Neath the sky… As we go… This we know…. God is nigh.

Remember the ones who have fallen in Iraq … Pray for their families and for our troops who are still in harms way as they serve our County…

Klocks in the Civil War

I have found 93 Klocks that served in the Civil War. 91 on the Union Side and 2 that fought for the South in the Confederate Army. I will put a list of Names, Rank and Unit they served in another issue of “Klock Connections.”

Newsletter Correction.
I noticed I dated the last copy of “ Klock Connections” with the wrong month.…I dated it March instead of April.. So if you are saving them you will have two March Issues.. At least I numbered them correctly…..I have corrected my copy on the computer. I also dated issue # 16 November 2002 as November 2001. So not only do I have trouble figuring out what month it is, I also have problems keeping up with the year as well.

Was Fort Klock Ever Attacked During the War Of Independence?

By James F. Morrison

When I’ve been portraying a militiaman from the Third Battalion of Tryon County Militia for special programs such as student groups visiting, 4th of July etc. one of the most asked questions is “ Was Fort Klock ever attacked during the American Revolution? I always reply that there was a possibility of at least one instance when it may have been attacked.

The incident is believed to have taken place on October 19, 1780 when Sir John Johnson with his forces of British Regulars, Loyalists troops and Indians where burning various settlements in the Mohawk Valley. Several small parties of Indians looking for easier pray broke off of Sir John’s main force to raid and plunder on their own.

The following is quoted from “ The Frontiersmen of New York “ by Jeptha R. Simms, George C. Riggs, Publisher, 1883, Vol. II, page 383.

“It is difficult to locate all the prominent citizens of this vicinity in their own little castles. Next to Fort Hess seems to have been Fort Klock, a palisaded stone house then owned and occupied by John Klock, father of Adam Klock, which house is yet standing over a mile to the eastward of St. Johnsville. At a southeast upper window of this house, the widow of Peter Haner was standing on the day of Johnson’s invasion, when a bullet, nearly spent, struck her head, and she sat down stunned but not seriously hurt. I am glad that this old landmark, which is a very ancient building, is allowed to remain.”

Many people confuse the Battle of Klock’s Field which was fought in the afternoon of October 19, 1780 about one mile west of Fort Klock in the Town and village of St. Johnville on present day Route 5. The men from the Tryon County Militia usually refer to this battle in their pension claims as being fought on the Klock and Failing Flats.

Sir John claims in his report also that the building etc. Of Colonel Jacob Klock, which were adjacent to the flats, were also used during the battle. There is a boulder with a plaque at the spot where Col. Klock’s home once stood just off of Route 5 across from the town highway barn.

This article came from the Fort Klock Web Page. The Fort Klock Historic Restoration and Indian Castle Church web page has many historical articles, letters, maps, pictures and information about the St. Johnsville area during the Revolution. Check it out at: www.fortklock.com

A few of the articles I have written for the Newsletter is also on line at this site. Check it out.. Dave

Conrad Klock

Conrad Klock, the son of Hendrick Klock, was born about 1722. Conrad was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and survived the battle of Oriskany. The battle of Oriskany was one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolution. In the work of Sherman O Klock, Conrad is described as, “ a man of powerful physique who when his ammunition gave out, wielded a hug club over the craniums of several of the enemy.” Conrad was a Pvt. In Col. Jabob Klock’s Regiment of the New York Militia.

Conrad and his sons, Jacob and Joseph were captured in Fairfield during one of the British raids and were taken to Canada. There they enlisted into the British Army. They were ordered to the Mohawk Valley to fight; instead they deserted the British Army and returned home to the Mohawk Valley. Conrad is listed in the 1790 Census, Montgomery, New York as Conradt Clock. Conrad was on of the first settlers in Fairfield, New York and the town of Clockville took its name.

The Klock-Clock Genealogy says that Conrad married Ann Elizabeth Dygert and they had eight children. Conrad went by the “K” spelling of his last name and two of his children, Conrad Jr. and Adam used the “C” spelling for his name. Some of the descendants of Conrad Jr. and Adam have continued to use the “C” spelling.


I have started a List of German passengers Arriving in U.S. Ports between 1850 and 1880. The information was taken from a 37 Volume Book called, “Germans To America” I went through these books looking for Klocks. I recently found out the Book now contains 64 Volumes. The Holland, Michigan Library only has 34 of the 64 Volumes. I will have to see where I can find the other 30 Volumes and go through them as well. The following comes from the first 34 Volumes.

Note: The Complete list is now on the Klock Connections Web Page.

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