John H. Klippart

From Ohio History Central

John Hancock Klippart was Ohio's fifth Secretary of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture served as the head of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture. Klippart served in this position longer than any other person.

Klippart was born on July 26, 1823, in Stark County, Ohio. He received minimal schooling as a child. Usually, he was working to help support his family. He found employment in a woolen mill, as a delivery clerk for a local general store, and as a drugstore clerk. By the late 1840s, Klippart had opened his own dry goods store and also was serving as the postmaster of Osnaburg, Ohio. From 1853 to 1856, he also helped construct the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne, and Chicago Railroad, however, this venture proved not to be lucrative for the businessman. During this same period he also served as editor or co-editor of Canton, Ohio's Democratic Transcript, Cleveland, Ohio's Ohio Farmer, and of The Ohio Cultivator.

Klippart became Ohio's fifth Secretary of Agriculture in 1856. He remained in this position until his death in 1878. During his tenure as secretary, Klippart encouraged the introduction of scientific methods to farming and called for the creation of schools dedicated to teaching agricultural practices. Realizing that Ohio had a sizable German population, Klippart also had Ohio Board of Agriculture documents published in German.