In 1848, two brothers left Beuren, Germany, and sailed to American. Most assuredly, they were searching for a better way of life. 1848 was the beginning of a great flood of German Immigrants coming to America. We have been unable to find the name of the vessel that brought them here, so we are uncertain as to the exact details of their journey. Most immigrants leaving Germany during this time, departed from Amsterdam, Holland and perhaps they did also. Those traveling such a long journey were only allowed to take one trunk of personal items with them. So, they left behind all of their belongings, as well as other family members and the only way of life that they had every known, in search of something better. Their father had been a potter by trade, but we have no knowledge of their own occupations. Once settled in Western Pennsylvania, they worked in the coal mines as did all those who settled there. They became JOHN AND ADAM KLINK most likely because they spoke no English and others spelled KLENCK, the way that it sounded, KLINK. Their hopes of a better way of life soon turned to a tragedy that neither could have possibly invisioned by coming to America. In 1861, they both enlisted in the nations struggle called the Civil War. They became part of the 101st PA Volunteers. John was wounded and captured at the Battle of Fair Oaks. After being held for some time, he was released on a surgeons certificate and sent home. Adam went on to serve and reenlisted in 1864, only to be captured and sent to Andersonville Prison, Georgia. This is where he died, in July of that year.
This story has a bitter sweet ending. John went home to his family but was never able to work again. They were poor people and struggled to survive in this new land that they now called home. John died in 1876 from complications sustained from his injuries during the Civil War. He never fully recovered and his new way of life became his prison. Barbara Seiler (Saylor) Klink, his wife, lived many years after his death. She is buried at Woodland Cemetery, Grove City, Pennsylvania. We don't know where John is buried. After many years of searching, we are still unable to find his grave. The final irony is the sad ending to this story. In their desperation to find a better life, they probably had it much worse here. Freedom and peace was the only legacy that they left their children. They paid the ultimate sacrifice and never lived long enough to see the reward of their struggle. No banners ever waved in their honor. No great stories were ever written about their plight. No headlines ever bore their names and they quietly slipped away with the thousands of others who became the casualties of war. It is with this in mind that we appreciate and recognize their courage, when in 1848, they sailed to a better way of life in America.
101st Pennsylvania Volunteers -- The Plymouth Pilgrims