2023 Hoosier German - American of the Year
Indianapolis butcher and sausage maker Gerhard Klemm was born in Wüstenrot, Germany, in 1940, and immigrated to Indianapolis in the late 1950s. He worked with his uncle Karl Klemm and later with Otto Straub at Klemm’s meats, perfecting the butchering and sausage making trades during this time. In 1969, Gerhard bought the business outright, and rebranded it as Klemm’s German Sausage and Meats, selling out of Indianapolis City Market before moving to the South St. in Indy. Gerhard and his wife Evelyn ran Klemm’s German Sausage and Meats until retiring in 2003, at which time he sold his So to his nephew Claus Muth, who moved the business to the now famous Shelby St. Location. Claus operates the Indy institution with his wife Karen, to this day. The Klemm name is synonymous with German meats in Central Indiana, being the primary supplier to area restaurants in the area, all major German-themed festivals, and educational and charity functions.
Gerhard’s contributions to the Indiana German-American community are immeasurable. He has been an active leader and board member in the Indianapolis Liederkranz since moving to Indiana, and was an active member of the Indianapolis Sängerchor. He was an original member of the Athenaeum Foundation during its modern inception in 1991, and a founding member of the German-American Klub of Indianapolis in 1974, and has been members of the Indiana German Heritage Society since its founding. Gerhard and Evelyn have also been critical supporters of Christel House, providing food and education to vulnerable populations in the area, and other charities that have been critical to Indiana.”