Adolf Cluss spent his childhood and youth very close to the Kilian's Church - here's a photo of 1865
The neighboring Kilian's Square on a market day
"They called me Cluss..." - Youth in Heilbronn
Adolf Cluss was born at on July 24, 1825, "noon time 11-12" in the medieval heart of Heilbronn, the former imperial city on the Neckar river - in house No. 39, in Klostergasse . The revolutionary Cluss later considered it a good omen that his birthday coincided wiht the anniversary of the French Revolution. He once wrote to his friend Joseph Weydemeyer in New York: "Your baby can only be envious of me. Since I, as it just occurs to me, was born on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille".
Adolf Cluss was the fifth child born to Johann Heinrich Abraham Cluss (1792-1857), citizen and master builder in Heilbronn, and his wife Anna Christine Neuz (1796-1827). His father descended from a wealthy family of master craftsman in the building trades. His mother was the daughter of an innkeeper from Neckargartach, a village near Heilbronn. Heinrich Cluss owned a huge wine press directly beside the family's house where he produced wine from grapes grown in his vineyards which was stored in the cellar beneath.
Not much is known about Cluss's early years. He probably attended the "Volksschule" (public primary school) for boys in the Klostergasse. The he began secondary school at Karl's "Gymnasium". After two years, he decided to go back to the "Realschule" level ("Realschule" students finish school at age 16, a vocational track). Supposedly he learned the profession of carpenter in his father's firm.
Anyway, Adolf Cluss was called a journey carpenter when he applied for his journeyman's book (Wanderbuch) on June 27, 1844, at the registry office in Heilbronn. His father signed as well. Travelling journeyman were required to carry a "Wanderbuch", in which masters would record how long they were employed at each work site.