Biographical Sketch of John Klosterman

John Klosterman, wholesale grocer and commission merchant of Portland, was born in Hoya, Prussia, in 1840. He was educated in the common schools of his native town and also attended an Agricultural College in Eastern Prussia. In 1858 he took charge of an estate for a large land proprietor continuing in such capacity for about ten years. In 1867 he came to America and for the first six months while acquiring the English language worked on a farm in Illinois. He then went to Cariboo, British Columbia and was engaged in prospecting and mining for nearly a year, after which he came to Portland and for three years worked as a clerk for Joseph Levi, a meat packer. He then started in business for himself as a member of the firm of Henry Hewitt & Co., general commission and grocery merchants. In 1870 he retired from the firm and embarked in the wholesale grocery and provision business on the corner of First and Ash streets. At the end of four or five years he removed to the corner of Front and Ash streets. For the first few years his brother, A. Klosterman, was associated with him in business under the firm name of Klosterman Bros., but since 1879 Mr. Klosterman has been alone although the firm name of Klosterman & Co. has been retained. Since 1881 he has been located at 70 Front street.

Mr. Klosterman commenced business with a very limited capital, but year by year his trade has increased in magnitude until at the present time it has grown to large proportions. He is an extensive importer of foreign groceries and provisions and finds sale for his goods in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington and from 500 to 1000 miles north, south and east of Portland, five traveling salesmen being employed in this large territory.

He was married, in 1875, to the oldest daughter of Capt. John H. Wolfe, for many years commodore of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company’s line of steamers. They have two children, a son and a daughter.

Mr. Klosterman possesses fine business abilities and has had a remarkably successful career. The management of his business has so thoroughly taken up his time and attention that he has had comparatively little time to devote to projects outside the line in which he is engaged. Nevertheless he has made some fortunate real estate speculations, and is a member of the Oregon Fire and Marine Insurance Company and a director in the City Board of Charities. He is regarded as one of Portland’s trustworthy business men and one whose career already brilliant in its achievements, promises to be of still greater benefit to the city and State in the years to come.


Biography, History,

Harvey Whitefield Scott. History of Portland, Oregon: with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers. Portland, Oregon. D. Mason & Company, 1890.

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