Today, March 8, 2022, a funeral service is being held for John Klier. John was the society’s “go-to” guy for historical information. He almost always knew the answer, and if not, he knew someone who did. John moved to Fairview as a child and spent the rest of his life here, serving his family, his friends and other relatives, his school, his church, his community. His high school classmates dubbed him as “reliable,” and so he was.
He was a farmer and ran successfully for township supervisor in 1959. He retired 30 years later. But he wasn’t done. He served as chairman of the Borough and Township Joint Citizens Task Force on Inter-Municipal Cooperation in 1996. The committee was charged with creating a path to consolidate the two government entities into one.
John agreed to be interviewed at the Sturgeon House a few years later than the close of this committee’s work. He talked at length about his school years in Fairview. He attended South High in his early years, then Avonia and finally, he attended the high school on Chestnut Street. The Union School (where the post office is located today) was still in use. He was enrolled in the Agriculture Program and helped with the greenhouse chores across from the high school on the back of Weislogel’s Food Store. C. J. “Connie” Kell was in charge of the Ag group. Connie also kept a cow near the American Legion. Oh, yes, the Ag group owned a ‘jalopy.” Mr. Kell wanted to take a week off and go fishing in Canada and enlisted John to milk the cow and carry that milk to local resident Mary Baumgardner. John drove the car across the back fields to get from place to place, but one day a state policeman noticed him and his young-looking face. (He was 14.) From that point on for the rest of the week, John walked.
The Ag group had quite a garden and sold their produce. During John’s years in school the profit was used to pave a sidewalk between the old Union School and the new Chestnut School. Not only did the group pay for the paving, but they paved it themselves. Well, two students did. All the rest of the school went off for a day at Waldemere. It’s easy to guess that John was one of those boys who stayed behind. The principal, John Shepley, was so pleased with their job that he took the two boys to Treasure Island for a steak dinner. (Sorry, John did not share the name of the second boy.)
The Agriculture Program was quite extensive and gave John a good start in his chosen career, along with the practical experience he got on his family farm.
John was a class speaker at his graduation exercises. The title of his speech was “Trends in Conservation.” That title could be expected. Perhaps a hint of what was to come in his life was the title of another treatise he wrote as a senior: “Will Democracy Survive?”
We say goodbye to John Klier. He was one of the good guys.