William Blank (deceased) was born in Germany in 1830, and was a son of
John and Catherine (Zollman) Blank.  He was reared and grew to manhood
in his native country, and at an early age commenced to learn the stone
mason's trade. He immigrated to America in 1847, and settled in Jefferson
County, Mo., where he bought a farm and engaged in the pursuit of
agriculture.  In 1857 he married Miss Dina Fluth, who was born in Hanover,
Germany, in 1839 and in 1846 came to the United States with her parents,
Jacob and Sarah (Mathesen) Fluth, who settled in St. Louis. Jacob Fluth,
a shoemaker by trade, died in 1881 and his wife in 1874, both in Jefferson
County, whither they had moved in 1852.  To Mr. and Mrs. Blank were born
eight children as follows: Catherine (wife of Charles Becker), Sarah 
(deceased), Minnie (wife of Augustus Sapper), Adolph W., Mary, George, 
William and Frederick.  Mr. Blank settled in De Soto in 1864, and in 
partnership with William Knorpp engaged in merchandising until 1882, 
when he established a wood and coal yard in De Soto, in which business 
he was engaged at the time of his death, which occurred April 26, 1886.
Mr. Blank was also engaged in contracting and furnishing wood and ties
for the Iron Mountain Railroad.  For many years he was one of the 
substantial business men of De Soto.  He held membership in the Methodist
Episcopal Church, of which church his wife has been a member of the past
thirty years.  Upon the death of his father, Adolph W. assumed charge of
the wood and coal yard, and is a good business man; he also deals in lime
and cement, manufacturing the former in kilns on the old home place, one 
mile southeast of De Soto, which contains 289 acres; the lime is called 
"white lime", and is of a superior quality. About fifteen kilns are burned
per season, averaging 220 barrels per kiln; there is also a stone quarry 
on the farm, which has been in successful operation since 1875.