Ohio History Journal

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Dean Emeritus, College of Agriculture, Ohio State University

When a man devotes his abilities and his energy and his vision to

developing something that is of fundamental interest to all the

people; and does such an outstanding job that he wins the hearty

acclaim and the profound respect of his generation; and when the

results of his work become so much a part of our daily living that

we regard them as matter of fact and forget their origin, he then

deserves a reminder in our everyday thinking. His name, at least,

should be fairly familiar to the average citizen and especially to

those in the field of his broad activities.

Repeatedly have budding journalists come to ask for some leads

that would help them prepare a story of the life and work of John H.

Klippart. They would be referred to sources where the facts were

available, but when their stories appeared, practically all were

limited to the tips received during our conversation. So, we choose

to offer a brief review of the activities of one of Ohio's most pro-

ductive men. May it serve as a glow from the embers of a great

enthusiasm, which yielded lasting results even though its heat did

burn out, far too soon, the physical being of an inspired citizen.

John Hancock Klippart was of German descent. His grandfather

came to America with Lafayette during the American Revolution.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, he married a Virginia lady

and settled in Maryland. From there the father of Secretary Klippart

migrated to Stark County, Ohio, in 1816, and there the subject of

this sketch was born on July 26, 1823. His early education was quite

limited. As a boy he attended schools operated by Irish schoolmasters,

but most of his boyhood was spent working in a wool carding

factory and as an errand boy for a country store. At fifteen he

entered a drug store in Canton as a clerk and while there made

*This article, slightly abridged, was read as a paper before the Kit-Kat Club of

Columbus, February 20, 1951.